There is reason to reckon that the Justice Lodha committee, that has authored the radical reforms in its report and got it validated by the Supreme Court, may cease to function in the event of the apex court not giving suitable direction on the basis of the third Status Report submitted by the three-member committee.
Ever since the three-member committee comprising Chairperson, R.M.Lodha, former Chief Justice of India, Ashok Bhan and R. V.Raveendran, both former Supreme Court judges, were given the mandate to implement its recommendations by an order of the Supreme Court on July 18, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and almost all of its full members, have only disagreed with the recommendations and chosen not to comply with the apex court’s order. As of Monday, three associations have adopted the Lodha recommendations.
With the BCCI and most of its full members dragging its feet on the matter, the Lodha Committee in its first Status Report dated September 28, 2016, petitioned the Supreme Court to "Supersede the present office bearers (President, Secretary, Jt. Secretary an Treasurer) of the BCCI with immediate effect, appoint in their place a Panel of Administrators of the BCCI to ensure the smooth transition from the old to the new system recommended by the Committee, direct that all decisions of the BCCI taken after 18.7.2016 which are contrary to the judgment dated 18.7.2016 of this Hon’ble Court and/or the directives of the SC Committee for implementing the same are non est and ineffective; and any other direction as may be deemed fit for the implementation of the judgement dated 18.7.2016."
For the second time in 48 days the Lodha Committee, through its third Status Report dated Nov.14, 2016, asked the Supreme Court last Friday --- citing the non-compliance of its order of July 18 --- to (1) Direct and declare that all office bearers of the BCCI and the State Associations who are disqualified by virtue of the norms at Para 4 (2) Direct that all administrative and management matters be carried out by the CEO of the BCCI without advertence to the office bearers (3) appoint Mr.G.K.Pillai, former Union Home Secretary as the Observer of the BCCI to supervise the administration of the BCCI by the CEO (4) empower the Committee to appoint all necessary secretarial staff, assistance and fix remuneration as may be determined appropriate and (5) any other direction as may be deemed fit for the implementation of the judgement dated 18.7.2016.
In para 4 of the third Status Report the Committee has referred to the automatic disqualification of office bearers and elected councillors as stated in its recommendations merged with the order of the Supreme Court on July 18. They are a person shall be disqualified from being an office bearer if he or she (1) Is not a citizen of India (2) Has attained the age of 70 years (3) Is declared to be insolvent, or of unsound mind (4) Is a Minister or Government Servant (5) Holds any office or post in a sports or athletic association or federation apart from cricket (6) Has been an office bearer of the BCCI for a cumulative period of 9 years (7) Has been charged by a Court of law for having committed any criminal offence.
The Lodha Committee has gone to the extent of telling the Supreme Court that having validated its recommendations, a large number of people in the governance of the BCCI and full members stand disqualified and that they must go.
In its Third Status Report the Lodha Committee has stated extracts from the Supreme Court order of July 18, such as the Supreme Court’s acceptance of the Reforms in Cricket report, the reasonable time to be given for the implementation (by the BCCI and its full members), that the transition from the old to the new system has to be overseen by the Lodha Committee because it has a complete understanding of and insight into the nature of the problems sought to be remedied, but also the ability to draw timelines for taking of steps necessary for the implementation of the proposed reforms, that the implementation has to be completed within a period of four months or at best six months from today (July 18) and that the BCCI and all concerned shall cooperate and act in aid of the Committee and its directives and that should any impediments arise, the Committee shall be free to seek appropriate directions from this Court by filing a status report in that regard.
The non-compliance of the July 18 order by the BCCI and its full members has led to the Lodha Committee, state in its Third Status Report that: "Several office bearers at both the BCCI and the State Associations continue to hold the posts although they stand disqualified as per the Order of this Hon’ble Court. It is submitted that those individuals who fall foul of these norms be declared to cease to hold office forthwith.’’
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