The BCCI continued to defy the Supreme Court on the implementation of the Lodha Committee reforms despite the Court warning them to toe the line last week. At its Meeting yesterday, the Board "unanimously" adopted "important recommendations" but chose to leave out the key and controversial ones.
The Lodha Committee recommendations have faced stiff resistance from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) given its revolutionary proposals that would impact every area of governance and in one swoop, ensure all the current office-bearers are put of a job. The BCCI has continued to play a game of chess with the Committee and of late the Supreme Court on the reforms.
Irked by the pace at which things were progressing, the Supreme Court last week ordered the BCCI to “fall in line or we will make you fall in line”. It ordered that all of the Lodha report's recommendations passed by the court on July 18 would have to be adopted by the board – enmasse with no cherry-picking.
But that is what the Board has appeared to do at its Special General Meeting (SGM) in Mumbai on October 1.
The SGM in Mumbai, which was adjourned from Friday, ended with BCCI president Anurag Thakur announcing that there were legal issues in accepting some recommendations of the Lodha Committee.
"Wherever they [members] find legal challenges and practical difficulties, they have given their viewpoints and have not accepted those recommendations," Thakur said. "If you look at the overall structure of the BCCI, it is the members who form the board. As far as Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke [the board secretary] are concerned, we were there just to convene the meeting. It is up to the members to accept or reject. We've invited members to adopt the Lodha recommendations and members have given their viewpoints," he said.
The Board has decided to step away from key recommendations that include:
- enforcing the age cap of 70 years for its officials
- a tenure cap of nine years with interim cooling-off periods
- the one-state-one-vote policy.
Thakur also said that the Board would submit a detailed report in the Supreme Court that would also be shared with the Lodha Committee. He said, "[The report would be about] what the members have felt, and why they have accepted and not accepted a few recommendations," reported espncricinfo.
Although no one from the Lodha Committee was available for a comment, a senior lawyer, who has followed and been party to the BCCI case, did not agree with the board's stance. "The Supreme Court has passed a judgement. Today the BCCI is saying there are parts of which we are rejecting. There is no question of accepting or not. The directive of the court to the BCCI is: you will adopt the amendments," the lawyer said.
The BCCI has also released the list of recommendations it has accepted from the Lodha report:
1. The induction of the representative of the Comptroller and Auditor General as the member of the Apex Council and the IPL Governing Council.
2. The formation of the Apex Council.
3. Putting in place various committees as recommended by the Lodha Committee, including the special committee for the differently-abled and the women's committee.
4. The formation of the Players Association.
5. Voting rights for the Associate members as per the ICC guidelines.
6. Puducherry (Pondicherry) to be granted associate membership in the BCCI.
7. A Code of Conduct for players and team officials, Anti-Doping Code, Anti-Racism Code, Anti-Corruption Code, and Operational Rules for implementation for the next IPL season.
8. Implement player-agent registration norms.