Nothing has changed on reforms front, CoA tells Supreme Court

Vinod Rai, the chairman of the CoA, informed a gathering, at an event in Singapore on Saturday, that the reforms in cricket would be completed in four to five months.

The members of the CoA--Vinod Rai (left), Vikram Limaye, Diana Edulji and Diana Edulji--believe that the reforms in cricket would be completed in four-five months.   -  Photo: PTI

It was little over a one month ago that the Supreme Court appointed four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) was given the mandate to make the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) enforce the Justice Lodha Committee’s reforms in cricket report that was endorsed with a few medications by the apex court on July 18, 2016 and also to oversee the BCCI’s day-to-day affairs through its Chief Executive Officer, Rahul Johri.

On January 2, 2017, the Supreme Court bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur and justices Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud and A. M. Khanwilkar had said in their order: “the CoA shall also ensure that the directions contained in the judgment of this Court dated 18 July 2016 are fulfilled and to adopt all necessary and consequential steps for that purpose.’’

Further the apex court also said: “Upon the CoA as nominated by this Court assuming charge, the existing office bearers shall function subject to the supervision and control of the CoA. The Committee of administrators would have the power to issue all appropriate directions to facilitate due supervision and control.

And after nominating Vinod Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Ramachandra Guha, cricket historian, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director and CEO, IDFC Ltd. and Diana Edulji, former captain of the Indian women's cricket team to the CoA on January 30, the apex court said that Rai shall be the Chairman of the CoA and the CEO of BCCI shall report to CoA which shall supervise the management of BCCI.

The two Supreme Court orders clearly meant that the CoA was to be fully in charge of the BCCI, and in the last 30 odd days, it met a few times, changed its legal counsels, nominated Limaye for the ICC Board meetings, engaged important people connected with the BCCI like Amarchand & Mangaldas (leading law and accounting firm), Gokhale & Sathe Chartered Accountants (BCCI’s Internal Auditor), staff at the BCCI’s head quarters at the Cricket Centre here, have studied the Deloitte report on the functioning of majority of the full member associations, conducted the IPL auction for 2017 and other matters related to the IPL, cleared outstanding payments to Indian and overseas parties and have also announced the Col. C.K. Nayudu and BCCI award winners for 2016.

Though some pending work has been done, the CoA has not been able to get deep in to implementing the Lodha Committee recommendations at the State/full member of the BCCI level. In its first status report submitted to the Supreme Court on Saturday (March 4), the CoA has stated that the BCCI has not adopted the new Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations and it can be completed only after the full member associations amend its constitution to bring it in terms with the MOU and regulations recommended by Lodha Committee. The CoA has told the Supreme Court that elections have not been conducted by majority of the full members.

The CoA’s first status report (published on the BCCI website) has also incorporated the minutes of the BCCI meeting held at the Cricket Centre last year to consider the Lodha Committee recommendations (MoU/RR) clause by clause and also other issues related to compliance on the part of the State associations.

A BCCI official welcomed the decision of the CoA to post the its report on the BCCI website. “They should also make public the full Deloitte report. Let everything be transparent. None of the associations know what Deloitte has said about them.’’

A point raised by majority of full members of the BCCI, on a point related to the enforcement of the July 18, 2016 order of the Supreme Court is that “rights of members of the State associations under Article 19 (1) (c ) of the constitution of India continues to remain protected. Touching upon this argument raised by the BCCI earlier the Supreme Court said in its judgment of July 18, 2016: “What is, however important is that the right under article 19 (1) (c) does not extend to guaranteeing to the citizens the concomitant right to pursue their goals and objects uninhibited by any regulatory or other control. The legal position in this regard is settled by several decisions of this Court.’’

Rai, the chairman of the CoA, informed a gathering, at an event in Singapore on Saturday, that the reforms in cricket would be completed in four to five months. So far, among the BCCI’s full members, only Vidarbha and Tripura have adhered to the Lodha Committee recommendations. The CoA might wait for a direction from the apex court to clear certain matters before making its next move.

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