Supreme Court greenlights majority of Lodha recommendations

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above the age of 70 from becoming its members but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI and betting on the game should be legalised.

A bench of Chief Justice T. S. Thakur and Justice F. M. I. Kalifulla rejected BCCI’s objection against recommendations for one-State-one-vote and said that States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat having more than one cricket associations will have voting rights on rotational basis.   -  R. V. Moorthy

The Supreme Court on Monday accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above the age of 70 from becoming its members but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI and betting on the game should be legalised.

The apex court also accepted the recommendations of the Committee headed by retired Chief Justice of India Justice R. M. Lodha to have a CAG nominee in BCCI.

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A bench of Chief Justice T. S. Thakur and Justice F. M. I. Kalifulla rejected BCCI’s objection against recommendations for one-State-one-vote and said that States such as Maharashtra and Gujarat having more than one cricket associations will have voting rights on rotational basis.

It accepted the panel’s recommendation that there should be a player’s association in the BCCI and the funding of players’ association accepted while leaving it to the Board to decide the extent of funding.

The bench also accepted the recommendation that one person should hold one post in cricket administration to avoid any conflict of interest and scrapping of all other administrative committees in the BCCI after CAG nominee comes in.

The court, however, left it to Parliament to decide whether functioning of BCCI can be brought under RTI as recommended by the Lodha Panel and whether to legalise betting in cricket or not.

It also left it to the Board to decide if there was a need for any changes in the existing agreement relating to broadcasting rights and whether a franchise member should be in the Board to avoid any conflict of interest.

The bench also requested the three-member panel, also comprising former apex court judges Ashok Bhan and R. V. Raveendran, to oversee the transition of administrative structure in BCCI which has to take place within six months.

The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee had on January 4 recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up at the troubled BCCI, suggesting that ministers be barred from occupying positions, a cap put on the age and tenure of the office-bearers, and legalising betting.

Some State cricket associations, former players Kirti Azad, Bishen Singh Bedi, and cricket administrators, also approached the apex court with regard to the implementation of Lodha panel recommendations in BCCI.

Mudgal, who headed the probe committee which gave the initial report on the 2013 spot—fixing scandal, said today’s order is a landmark one.

“It will improve the functioning of the Board even though I must admit that the BCCI is a well—Rrun body. This judgement can be a reference for other sports bodies as well and that is why I think it is a landmark judgement,” Mudgal said.