SC to consider Draft Constitution on Monday

The Supreme Court order of Sept. 9, 2017 has directed the three BCCI office-bearers — acting-president C.K. Khanna, Choudhary, and acting-treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry — that they come up with ‘suggestions’ to the Draft Constitution by Oct. 12 or face serious consequences.

The Supreme Court order has directed the three office bearers to "cooperate and include the suggestions given by Justice Lodha Committee in its entirety so that a holistic document comes before this Court.’’   -  AFP

The acting secretary of the BCCI Amitabh Choudhary has reported to the Committee of Administrators (CoA), and thereby the Supreme Court, that his suggestions to the CoA-prepared Draft Constitution of the BCCI “are in the nature of practical difficulties in the implementation of the Principal Judgement of the Supreme Court (July 18, 2016) and relate to pure cricketing activities and the management thereof.”

Choudhary has given his suggestions following the Supreme Court order of Sept. 9, 2017, which directed the three BCCI office-bearers — acting-president C.K. Khanna, Choudhary, and acting-treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry — that they come up with ‘suggestions’ to the Draft Constitution by Oct. 12 or face serious consequences.

Choudhary has informed the CoA that the suggestions are his own because the other two did not respond to his. Khanna and Chaudhry have given their own suggestions though. The Supreme Court will consider them all on Monday.

"Include Lodha reforms in entirety"

The court order has directed the three office bearers to "cooperate and include the suggestions given by Justice Lodha Committee in its entirety so that a holistic document comes before this Court.’’

The court also said that, "After the document is placed  before the Court, the claims of Railways, Universities, and Services and other Cricket Associations, who are of the view that concept of  'one State one vote' should not be applicable keeping in view their contribution to the game of cricket, shall be considered.’’

Before articulating his suggestions on four aspects of the Draft Rules, Choudhary has pointed out that the Lodha Committee explained Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are not part of the Principal Judgment (of July 18, 2016) and hence they should not be  incorporated in the Draft Rules till the Supreme Court decides upon the issue.

An anomalous situation

On the "Membership and jurisdiction of members’’ matter, Choudhary has brought out an anomaly between the Lodha recommendations and a provision made in the Draft Rules. While the Lodha committee has recommended that in a State where there are multiple voting members (Maharashtra, Vidarbha, and Mumbai) and Gujarat (Gujarat, Saurashtra, and Baroda), one among the three will rotate as full members on an annual basis, the Draft Rules say that "only one of the existing full members in the concerned state shall  be recognised by the BCCI while the others would be relegated as associate members for all time.’’

Choudhary believes that "no useful purpose would be served by allowing one association in a State to retain its full membership with the others being relegated as associate members and that it may lead to unhealthy rivalry and unnecessary conflicts of  interest and biases amongst the associations in a particular state.’’

He has also suggested that each zone should elect its representative in the Apex Council, as against the one recommended by the Lodha Committee. He has also reiterated the point that when there is an age cap of 70 and a tenure cap of nine years for  an office bearer, governing council and committee members; the cooling off period of three years after every term of three years, would result in vacancies for all posts of office bearers and in the Apex Council every three years, and as a result, there would  be no continuity.

Finally, Choudhary has stated that the Draft Rules "curtail the powers and duties of office bearers’’ and that "the balance of powers and functions is heavily tilted towards professional appointees, the CEO has been conferred with sweeping powers  including those of entering into contracts on behalf of the BCCI without any need of prior approval of either the Office bearers or the Apex Council.’’