Special Committee wants Supreme court to reconsider four Lodha reform rules

The SGM will be held in New Delhi on July 11. On Saturday, the Special Committee was able to whittle down the “difficult issues to implement’’ from seven it had identified at its first meeting on July 1, to four at the three hour-plus meeting here at the Cricket Centre.

The BCCI’s acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, who has been relentless in his attempt to bring members around to accept the Lodha reforms, was able to get a majority decision in the Committee.   -  PTI

 

Things are still in a state of flux in regard to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) readiness to adopt the Supreme Court order of July 18, 2016 that endorsed the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee’s reforms in cricket report.

But for the first time in nearly twelve months, a Special Committee appointed by a general body of the BCCI, appears to have changed the mindset of its members and cobbled up support in to tell the Supreme Court on July 14 that the BCCI is ready to embrace the radical reforms, but with the benevolence of the court to reconsider four issues on matters of administration and management. The Committee dropped its reservations on the composition of the national selection committees and age cap of 70 for office bearers.

On Saturday, the Special Committee was able to whittle down the “difficult issues to implement’’ from seven it had identified at its first meeting on July 1, to four at the three hour-plus meeting here at the Cricket Centre.

The BCCI’s acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, who has been relentless in his attempt to bring members around to accept the Lodha reforms, was able to get a majority decision in the Committee, in the absence of T. C. Mathew, disqualified by the apex court order of January 2, 2017 to hold any position in the Kerala Cricket Association, and Sourav Ganguly, President of the Cricket Association of Bengal. Both were overseas.

The Committee consulted members and former office bearers who had blocked a resolution being moved at an SGM here on June 26 and it has been encouraged to even convene a SGM before July 14, when the Supreme Court will resume hearing cases pertaining to the Lodha reforms. A happy looking and hopeful Choudhary said: There was a lot of consultation with people outside of this committee, otherwise we could not have moved forward from July 1 to what happened today. If the SGM of the BCCI had decided to form this committee, it is expected that the recommendations of this committee will go to the general body. Logically speaking there should be an SGM before the date of hearing. We will issue the notice soon. The SGM will be held at New Delhi on July 11.”

The four points the committee wants the Supreme Court to reconsider

1. One state, one member, one vote. The Committee thought the order putting into effect the one state, one vote may be reconsidered with a view that the present members of the BCCI continue to remain members and at the same time enrol new members including those from the North-East after following the due process.

2. Cooling off period (of three years between two terms of three years each). Considering the fact that a cap of nine years has been placed on the cumulative period for all office bearers, not for the nominees of the BCC and the State associations, the Committee wants the BCCI to request the Court to reconsider the cooling off period rule to be put in abeyance.

3. Functions that are set out between the elected office bearers and the professional appointees. The Committee feels that this rule needs a review.

4. Tenure of office for the Apex Council members. The Committee feels that the cooling off period is not only applied to the officer bearers, but also to membership of the Apex Council. It feels that if the cooling off period for office bearers can be done away, it should be the same in the case of the membership of the Apex Council.

 

At the first meeting on July 1, the BCCI Treasurer, Anirudh Chaudhary, Mathew and Niranjan Shah (Special invitee) were opposed to seven points in the Lodha recommendations, and it’s hard to believe Chadhary would have given his consent to issues he had pointed out difficult to implement. Niranjan Shah seems to have accepted the cap of 70 and clearly the likes of Rajeev Shukla, Choudhary and Jay Shah wanted to move forward. “Jay was following the advice of his father (Amit Shah, President, BJP) to move away from confronting the Court,’’ said an official close to the developments.

Explaining the BCCI’s position on the reforms, Choudhary said: “There are actual and genuine ground difficulties that are distilled over decades of experience which we want to bring before the Supreme Court. I cannot say these things have not been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court at all, but if this matter is brought to its notice separately after a long exercise, I am sure it merits reconsideration.’’

Choudhary also said: “The resolutions that could be moved (at the SGM) will be decided by the general body, I cannot pre-judge it. I can tell that the general body could move a resolution stating that by and large we (BCCI) are in agreement, but we humbly request the court to reconsider 3, 4 or 5 points. On that day (July 1) we were able to work and come to a situation wherein we identified reservations on seven points. We wanted to reduce them further to three or four. Thankfully we have succeeded today. The age cap of 70 is fine. There is a school of thought (that it should go), but collectively speaking the Committee felt that it’s not an issue. We are fine with the three-member selection committees.’’