‘Lodha panel did not bar politicians from BCCI’

The Supreme Court on Thursday clarified to the BCCI that the apex court-appointed committee led by former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha never recommended barring politicians from holding posts in the Board.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla said the committee report only suggested a ban on government servants and ministers donning the role of cricket administrators.

“Politicians as a category cannot be barred. There is a politician in everyone. The recommendation is only regarding government ministers and servants,” Chief Justice Thakur told senior advocate K.K. Venugopal.

In January, when asked why the committee did not exclude the political class as a whole from cricket administration, Justice Lodha had reasoned that the political class involves people from all walks of life and “we cannot tar the entire citizenry with the same brush.”

Submitting that the Supreme Court should not cross judicial limits to interfere in the BCCI’s internal management, flow of finances and membership patterns, Mr. Venugopal picked on another one of the recommendations of the Justice Lodha panel — an age cap of 70 for BCCI administrators. “No such cut-off date can be implemented unless there is a statute supporting it,” he submitted.

The BCCI, represented by Mr. Venugopal, said any interference in its basic character and functioning was a violation of its fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) (c) (right to form associations) of the Constitution. The apex court said the Lodha Committee recommendations were not meant to shrink the stature of the BCCI, but only to help the Board perform its public functions better.

Petition de-linked

The Bench de-linked a petition filed by BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy challenging the Lodha panel’s decision to suspend former IPL franchisee Chennai Super Kings for two years over the 2013 betting scam, involving its top official Gurunath Meiyappan. The petition will be heard by a regular Bench on July 26.

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Printable version | Oct 6, 2022 12:45:37 am |