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Supreme Court might impose monetary sanctions on BCCI

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SportsCafe Desk

Last Tuesday at 12:34 PM

The Supreme Court might consider imposing monetary sanctions on the BCCI until the latter implements all reforms suggested by the Lodha committee. Limit the amount of money the BCCI can use and a mandatory approval of all financial contracts and agreements from the Lodha panel.

TS Thakur, Chief Justice of India, said the court will have an "extreme option" that would allow them to a select a body of an independent administrator to replace the BCCI office-bearers, that could then start exercising other options that would be “equally effective”.

“Should there be an embargo on withdrawal of money beyond a certain amount? Should they go to Justice Lodha panel whenever they want to enter into a financial contract? We will examine all that,” said the bench headed by the Chief Justice.

The elite bench told the cricket board that they could not help the BCCI in any way unless the latter clarifies its position on all the recommendations put forward by the Lodha panel, that the Board has accepted and where they stand on the time frame in which they hope to implement the changes.

“We want to understand what are your genuine problems. But at every stage there appears to be defiance and obstruction,” the bench added.

Kapil Sibal, representing the BCCI, said the board was opposed to revoking votes of founder members and the one state-one vote recommendation.

“This would not help transparency. We already have three north-east states as full-time members. Giving votes to other north-east states, which do not have the infrastructure and where the game of cricket is not popular, may lead to corruption as others could seek their votes in lieu of money and favour,” argued Sibal.

The board would face an uphill task in “persuading” state associations to embrace the resolution regarding the new memorandum of association that the Lodha panel has suggested, Sibal said.

“Give us some time. It is not that we have not implemented anything. But we need some time. We will file a detailed affidavit to inform this court what all we have done and what we propose do in the next few months,” Sibal told the bench.

However, Sibal also questioned some of the suggestions that the Lodha panel had put forth, calling them "beyond the purview" of the judgement of the apex court, and stating that it will not make the system any more transparent than it already is.

“If Lodha panel wants to run cricket, that is not the purpore of the court’s judgement. How does limiting the number of selectors to three help transparency? It has also fixed the calendar for the IPL and other matches. What has that to do with transparency? Administration should be left to us. We are willing to do everything about transparency,” Sibal concluded.

Senior counsel and amicus curiae, Gopal Subramanium, said that by refusing to accept any of the reforms the BCCI has now made itself liable to civil and criminal contempt actions. He added that the BCCI should be given more time only if they unconditionally agree to abide by all the recommendations made by the Lodha committee.