Katju submits report to BCCI

Katju calls Lodha Committee ‘bogus’; Points out violation and blasted the recommendations on reforms in the working of the Board.

Katju strongly holds the view that the Board should not meet Lodha Committee members.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Retired Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju has suggested to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) not to meet Lodha Committee on August 9. He strongly recommended filing a review petition in the Supreme Court against its July 18 order to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations in six months.

Justice Katju was appointed by the Board to head a four-member legal panel to “advice and guide” and made him the “single point interface” for the Board to interact with the Lodha Committee on August 2. Ironical as may sound, Katju who submitted his first report to the Board secretary Ajay Shirke here on Sunday afternoon, holds the view that the Board should not meet Lodha Committee members.

Describing the Lodha Committee as “bogus”, Katju blasted the recommendations on reforms in the working of the Board and said, “when 3.3 crore cases are pending in the country, it is not known why the Supreme Court committed to judicial legislation in complete violation of all the laws of the land in the present BCCI matter.”

More than once during the press conference, Katju made personal observations on Justice Lodha and said, “I was a Supreme Court judge when Lodha was a High Court judge.”

Drilling holes into the Lodha Committee recommendations, Katju maintained “the Supreme Court had over reached itself and indulged in judicial legislation unmindful of the fact that there are several larger bench decisions prohibiting the same.” In what was the first volume of his report, spread over 43 pages,

Katju quoted from several cases to substantiate his argument and stated, “this order is legislative in nature and could not have been validly be passed by the Court.

The Supreme Court could have no doubt forwarded the Lodha Committee recommendations to Parliament with its own recommendation that the Lodha Committee recommendations be enacted as a law by Parliament, but to direct itself that the recommendations be implemented is clearly a legislative act not within the Court’s domain.”

He went on to reinforce the point by saying, “I am repeatedly coming across cases where the judges are unjustifiably trying to perform executive or legislative functions. In my opinion, this is clearly unconstitutional and it is time now for the judiciary to learn self-restraint. In the name of judiciary activism, judges cannot cross their limits and try to take over functions which belong to another organ of the State.”

He also pointed out that the Lodha Committee was only mandated to examine and make suitable recommendations to the BCCI for such reforms in its practices and procedures and such amendments in the memorandum of association, rules and regulations as may be considered necessary.

“Instead, the Lodha Committee sent its recommendations to the Supreme Court,” pointed out Katju. When asked how come these points were not raised by the team of BCCI lawyers during the hearings in the Supreme Court, Katju said, “These points will be made part of the review petition. That’s my suggestion. Now it is up to BCCI to decide.”

Shirke, when asked whether he and President Anurag Thakur would meet the Lodha Committee on August 9, said, “I am here to receive the report from Justice Katju. We will study the report in detail and then decide.”