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SC assuages BCCI's fear on inclusion of CAG nominee in board

The Supreme Court Today Allayed BCCI’s Apprehension That It Will Face ICC’s Ire For Carrying Out Drastic Restructuring Of The Board By Including A CAG Nominee Into It Saying The Appointment Under The Judicial Order Does Not Amount To Government Interference.

PTI | Updated on: 03 Mar 2016, 11:43:53 PM

New Delhi :

The Supreme Court today allayed BCCI’s apprehension that it will face ICC’s ire for carrying out drastic restructuring of the Board by including a CAG nominee into it saying the appointment under the judicial order does not amount to government interference.

The apex court’s assurance came after senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the BCCI, said implementing the Justice R M Lodha Committee recommendation to include CAG’s nominee in the Board will go against the rules of the ICC.

To this the bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla said whether BCCI apprehends that ICC may suspend it if a CAG nominee is appointed in the apex council.

“The CAG nominee will not be exactly the government person, he will be a court appointed official in the board, then why there will any problems to ICC,” the bench said.

However, when Venugopal said that ICC rules clearly say that no government interference should be there in the functioning of boards, the bench said, “You are discharging a public function. You want free hand while dealing with crores of rupees.

“Where is the government interference with the board? He (nominee) will be appointed by the authority of the court.  What is the worry in that,” the bench asked.

It asked the BCCI to tell ICC that the CAG nominee has been appointed by the Supreme Court to only look after any irregularities and misappropriation if any in the board.

“Our interference doesn’t mean, government’s interference,” the bench said and added that it may consider the suggestion at a later stage that the nominee should have an advisory role in the board.

SC pulls up BCCI over reluctance to accept Lodha panel’s

The Supreme Court today pulled up the BCCI for its reluctance to comply with the recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel, including the one to keep ministers away from cricket administration, observing politicians wanted to hold such posts for “power and clout”.

The apex court also took umbrage against some state cricket associations, which sought a fresh hearing before the Lodha panel, saying these bodies cannot be allowed to “filibuster” or delay implementation of the recommendations of the panel which was an “expensive committee” and had grabbed “international headlines”.

“It was international news that we had formed the Justice Lodha Committee to suggest reforms in cricket. The whole world knew it. Now you come to us and say the recommendations were a bolt from the blue for you and you were not consulted... What were you doing? Waiting at fence for a written invitation?,” the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice FMI Kalifulla said.

“There is no question of you wanting it. We, the Supreme Court, will decide whether we are inclined to send some restricted issues back to the committee for its decision, that too within a limited span of time... Lodha Committee cost a lot of money for BCCI. It is not an easy committee. It was an expensive committee,” the bench said.

When senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for BCCI, raised objections to the committee’s recommendation for keeping politicians away, the bench asked, “Why do you want the ministers to be there?”.

When Venugopal gave the example of former Union minister late N K P Salve, who was a prominent cricket administrator, contending that it lends “leadership and experience” to the cricket body, the bench said, “You want to make it as a precedent.”

Referring to his submissions made just before this when BCCI objected to the inclusion of a nominee of the CAG in the cricket’s administrative body, the bench said, “You do not want the nominee of the CAG, but you want politicians”.

“You want ministers and government officers to be involved. You say that they have contributed to the game. The country is endowed with people of talent that we cannot deprive you of capable and honest people who want to contribute,” the bench said.

The bench said, “The feeling is that politicians may want to hold the post for power and clout. It is the source of aggrandisement, that is why this recommendation has been made (to keep politicians away).”

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First Published : 03 Mar 2016, 09:40:00 PM