The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee has directed the Indian cricket board to implement 15 key constitutional reforms, as mandated by the Supreme Court, by October 15 this year.
Speculation on whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials would attend the meeting called by the Lodha committee ended today when board secretary Ajay Shirke met the committee for around an hour and a half. BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who is also a BJP MP, took a leave of absence on account of the ongoing Parliament session.
In the meeting, the committee also asked BCCI to file its first compliance report on implementation by August 25.
Shirke, however, told the committee that the board will file a review petition with the Supreme Court.
In its recommendations, the Lodha committee had suggested far-reaching reforms within the BCCI including "one state, one vote", barring ministers and IAS officers from BCCI, an age cap of 70 for officials, a Comptroller and Auditor General member in the BCCI, among others. These reforms are to be implemented in six months according to a July 18 order of the Supreme Court. Most of these recommendations by the committee were strongly opposed by the board as well as state associations.
Shirke also appraised the committee about the practical issues that BCCI would face in implementing reforms such as one state, one vote, among others. Late on Sunday night, Shirke had sent a request to the committee to defer the meeting. This was after the board had received the report from its new advisor Justice Markandey Katju who recommended that BCCI file should a review petition with the Supreme Court and also not meet Lodha Committee on August 9.
The BCCI is going ahead with filing the review petition but did not comply with Katju's second recommendation of not meeting the committee. Katju on Sunday termed the July 18 judgment of the top court on implementing Lodha committee's recommendations to clean up BCCI unconstitutional.
He said that transparency and accountability are important but the direction for that has to come from the legislature and not the judiciary. "This is a dangerous trend."
The former Supreme Court judge also said that the SC order is in nullity as they have overlooked several earlier decision of larger and coordinate benches of the Supreme Court that were binding on it. He accused the Supreme Court of outsourcing the power to impose punishment to the Lodha committee, saying it was unconstitutional.