SC orders appointment of auditor to scrutinise BCCI accounts

In a judgment which was not announced beforehand or notified in the court's cause list, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur stood firm by its October 7 decision to choke the financial jugular of BCCI's 25 State cricket associations till they fall in line.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court came down hard on BCCI and its State associations for failing to implement Lodha Panel recommendations.   -  PTI

Refusing to give an inch to BCCI's 'defiance', the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that none of the Board's member State associations will get a single penny from the BCCI coffers till they comply in "letter and spirit" with the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee reforms.

In a judgment which was not announced beforehand or notified in the court's cause list, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur stood firm by its >October 7 decision to choke the financial jugular of BCCI's 25 State cricket associations till they fall in line.

> Anurag Thakur: ‘Have highest respect for judiciary’

The judgment asked the Committee to fix a ceiling limit for contracts BCCI can enter into. Contracts worth beyond this financial limit would require Lodha panel approval.

The judgment, authored by Chief Justice Thakur, asked Lodha Committee to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise BCCI accounts and fix the financial limits for contracts.

The court ordered the BCCI secretary and president to file compliance reports before the Justice Lodha panel and the Supreme Court in two weeks.

It asked the Lodha panel to apprise ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar of the court's orders.

BCCI president Anurag Thakur steered clear of commenting on the latest diktat by the apex court, saying that he is yet to go through the order.

“What impact it will have on cricket, we cannot comment before going through the order. Once we get the copy of judgement we shall respond. There are difficulties which have been placed in front of the Court,” Thakur told reporters.

"I have full faith in the judiciary. It is the state associations who have to implement the Lodha recommendations, once they get the order, we will have a discussion with them and ask them to implement,” Thakur said.

On October 7, Chief Justice Thakur had made the court's hard stand clear by ordering that BCCI will not disburse Rs. 16.73 crore each to 12 State cricket associations. These dozen associations were yet to get the balance payment of their share from nearly Rs. 2,500 crore BCCI received towards compensation after the cancellation of Champion League T20 tournament.

Chief Justice Thakur had directed that the pending Rs. 16.73 crore and any future funds would be released only after the State associations passed resolutions undertaking to comply with the Lodha reforms.

As for the remaining 13 member State associations who have already received Rs. 16.73 crore, they can only use the money after passing their respective resolutions to implement the Lodha Committee reforms.

The court had made it clear that continued defiance by State associations would witness their shares invested in fixed deposit accounts until they change their minds.

The court had barred further disbursal of amounts, courtesy a resolution passed by in the Annual General Meeting held on November 9, 2015 or “any subsequent resolution” by the BCCI or its Working Committee, until the State associations submit their written undertakings to unconditionally comply with the Lodha reforms.

“The sequence of events that have taken place since July 18, 2016 and referred to in the status report (of the Lodha Committee) prima facie give an impression that BCCI has far from lending its fullest cooperation to the Committee adopted an obstructionist and at times a defiant attitude which the Committee has taken note of and described as an impediment undermining not only the Committee but even the dignity of this court,” Chief Justice Thakur had wrote in the October 7 order.

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