SC: Crucial hearing today

The matter is listed for hearing at 3 p.m.

Following a submission by the BCCI’s lawyer Mr. Arvind P. Datar to the Supreme Court on January 24 that an Executive Committee of the ICC is to meet in the first week of February in Dubai, the Supreme Court had asked Mr. Datar to give three names in a sealed cover by Friday, January 27. But the apex court added a crucial rider that it may be done so "following the due process and, needless to say, the names that will be given should not be disqualified under the principal judgment or any of the orders of this Court."

It’s a matter of guess as to whether the BCCI adhered to the deadline set by the Supreme Court. Some sources said the names would be given when the Supreme Court opens on Monday, when the matter is listed for hearing at 3 p.m.

But, in the short time between the day the order was passed to give three names and Sunday (Jan. 29), the disqualified members of the BCCI and the State association members and eligible representatives of the BCCI and State associations have been proactive over two conference calls and e-mail communications and sources tracking the developments have been astounded by the audacity of a representative or two to drop the names of former BCCI Presidents N. Srinivasan (he is 72 and has completed nine years at the BCCI and TNCA), Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke (both removed as President and Secretary, BCCI). It is believed that the former BCCI vice-president and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was also consulted in this matter.

In the meanwhile, 15 full members responded to a mail from the BCCI asking it to suggest three names, from which the Supreme Court would nominate one for the ICC meeting. Reliable sources revealed that a majority among the 15 proposed the names of the BCCI Jt. Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and the BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry. Perhaps the names of Vice-President (performing the duties of the BCCI President) C. K. Khanna and former BCCI officer-bearer Rajeev Shukla have also been proposed.

There are two important meetings, among several others, that are an important part of the quarterly ICC meetings; one is the ICC Board meeting, which is attended by Shashank Manohar (Independent Chairman of the ICC), David Richardson (Chief Executive Officer, ICC), ten nominees of the full member countries, representatives of three associate members (Ireland, Namibia and Singapore). Each of the ten full member countries also nominate ten alternate directors to the ICC Board.

The second one is the ICC Chief Executives Meeting for which nine countries have nominated its CEO; the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri attended the immediate past ICC CEM at Cape Town, instead of the BCCI’s official nominee Ajay Shrike. With Amitabh Chaudhary (performing the duties of the Secretary), he has the right to attend the ICC CEM meeting in Dubai. The BCCI’s Rules and Regulations explain that the Secretary shall "Exercise, as Chief Executive of the Board."

It has also been pointed out that the BCCI office-bearers have to give an undertaking as per the Supreme Court order of January 2, 2017, which said: "Those of the office-bearers of BCCI who are not disqualified may continue, subject to their filing an unconditional undertaking before this Court within four weeks of the date of this order to abide by and implement the directions contained in the judgment dated 18 July 2016."

It would be interesting to see the names the BCCI submits to the Supreme Court and if the BCCI would stick its neck out arguing for its "disqualified" office-bearers. It would also be interesting to know if the AGI Mukul Rohatgi and senior counsel Kapil Sibal (representing a number of BCCI full members) actually present names for the Committee of Administrators (COA) whose mandate would be to enforce the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations validated by a Supreme Court order on July 18, 2016.

A relevant extract from the Supreme Court order of Jan. 24 says: "It is hereby made absolutely clear that the names that will be suggested should be in consonance with the principal judgment and the subsequent orders passed thereafter. If any one suffers from any kind of disqualification, that shall not be suggested to and considered by this Court. After the names are submitted in a sealed cover, this Court, keeping in view, the names given by Mr. Anil B. Divan and Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, learned amicus curiae and the names to be given by Mr. Mukul Rohatgi and Mr. Kapil Sibal, shall constitute Committee of appropriate number of members to do the needful."