SC to hear Lodha panel on Dec. 15

The hearing on December 15 would be crucial considering the fact that the Supreme Court, on November 10, had dismissed the review petition filed by the BCCI against the court’s order of July 18 that fully endorsed the Lodha panel’s recommendations for transparency in cricket administration.

NEW DELHI, 14/07/2015: Justice R.M. Lodha after delivering the verdict of the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scandal in New Delhi on July 14, 2015. Photo: Ramesh Sharma   -  Ramesh Sharma

A Supreme Court Bench, led by the Chief Justice of India, T. S. Thakur, will consider the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee for the removal of the BCCI office-bearers, who are either 70 years old or government ministers or have already been at the helm of the Board for nine years, on December 15.

When the apex court adjourned the hearing on December 9, its amicus curiae in the case and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium had informed the court that the Lodha panel report required serious consideration and should be heard at the latest.

The hearing on December 15 would be crucial considering the fact that the Supreme Court, on November 10, had dismissed the review petition filed by the BCCI against the court’s order of July 18 that fully endorsed the Lodha panel’s recommendations for transparency in cricket administration.

The court had given the BCCI administrators time until the first week of December to muster support from its member associations and make them fall in line with the Lodha panel suggestions.

However, the Lodha Committee has again pushed for the ouster of BCCI administrators who are septuagenarians, government ministers and ones who have been at the helm for over nine years. The panel has sought the disqualification of those who are not Indian citizens, those who hold any office or post in a sports or athletic association or federation apart from cricket, those declared insolvent or of unsound mind and administrators charged with a crime.

In his reply, the BCCI president, Anurag Thakur, said, “Great chaos” would ensue if the Supreme Court implemented the Committee’s recommendations.

In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, Thakur said, “The removal of democratically-elected office-bearers of the BCCI or state cricket associations will not result in any benefit to the game and shall instead paralyse the administration, immediately creating great chaos.”

Lodha panel’s recommendations seemed to be aimed at making the BCCI a “weak organisation”, Thakur had alleged. He said the Lodha Committee’s suggestion to the Supreme Court to appoint former Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai as auditor was an attempt to shift the responsibility of being the “custodian” of cricket to a third party.