Accept Lodha report, fall in line: SC to BCCI

The court gives BCCI time till March 3 to respond to the Justice Lodha panel report.

February 04, 2016 04:38 pm | Updated November 26, 2021 10:23 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo of Cricket Centre, the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. “If you cannot [implement the Justice Lodha panel report on BCCI overhaul], we will ask the committee to steer you,” the Supreme Court told the cricket body on Thursday.

File photo of Cricket Centre, the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. “If you cannot [implement the Justice Lodha panel report on BCCI overhaul], we will ask the committee to steer you,” the Supreme Court told the cricket body on Thursday.

Describing the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee report on overhaul of BCCI as “straightforward, rational and understandable”, the Supreme Court on Thursday sternly advised the cricket body to “fall in line” with the recommendations and save itself further trouble.

“Your members have been wielding power for long... There will be no second innings here,” Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur said, making the Supreme Court’s resolve clear to the top cricket body.

“These recommendations deserve respect. They have come from the most respected members of the legal community. They have done extensive deliberations with all stakeholders,” Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, accompanied on the Bench by Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla told the BCCI in a specially convened hearing.

“Without saying, we respect the recommendations. It is not that we fail to see the writing on the wall, but these are sweeping changes... we need time to respond,” senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing the BCCI, submitted.

Mr. Naphade said the recommendations had to be first deliberated with its 30 members and implementation of these sweeping reforms in full would give rise to “all sorts of complications.”

Mr. Naphade listed the “impediments” which would visit the Board, starting with how BCCI would even lose its registration under the Tamil Nadu Registration Act. He said certain States such as Maharashtra had multiple members.

He pointed to Maharashtra, which has representations from the central province, Vidharba and parts exchanged between Karnataka and Maharashtra during the States’ re-organisation post-Independence. “Even if we want to comply 100 per cent with the reforms, there are legal wrangles,” Mr. Naphade said.

The Justice Lodha report had been distributed among members and a meeting of its legal committee fixed for February 7, he saidBut the Bench refused to be snowballed by the Board’s list of “complications”. “Then we have a simple solution. We will say that since BCCI has difficulties and impediments in respecting and implementing the recommendations, let the Justice Lodha Committee continue and help the Board push through with the reforms... What do you say, Mr. Naphade?” Chief Justice Thakur asked. “The recommendations are straightforward, understandable and rational... if you can’t do it, we will ask the committee to steer you,” he said.

Mr. Naphade said the BCCI should not be seen as “obstructionist”.

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