The Lodha Committee has threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on the grounds that the resolution adopted by the state association during its Special General Meeting (SGM) November 7 was in breach of the Supreme Court’s order on July 18.
In a letter to the MCA, Lodha panel secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan said: “The Mumbai Cricket Association is an Intervenor before the Supreme Court, and was heard on all issues raised including the One State One Vote point. Unlike other Associations, it is not available to it to now raise the same objection on which a judgment has been delivered.”
The letter, examined by The Indian Express, also referred to the BCCI’s status report submitted before the Supreme Court-appointed committee on August 25. “The BCCI’s status report dated 25.8.2016 submitted to this Committee by the Secretary BCCI makes it clear in Para 5(c) that “all members” of the Working Committee agreed to the Committee’s stipulated timelines. Therefore, MCA has already placed its agreement to make necessary amendments as per the judgment,” it said.
“In view of the above, the Resolution dated 07.11.2016 adopted by the MCA in its SGM amounts to contempt of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated 18.07.2016 and action will be initiated accordingly against the Association through its authorized signatory,” the letter stated.
The letter comes after the MCA had informed the Lodha Committee about the turn of events at its November 7 SGM, stating that the review and curative petitions — against the apex court’s orders on July 18 this year and January 22, 2015, respectively — are pending and that the association hasn’t been able to take any decision. MCA’s letter also mentioned that it will have another general body meeting after the final order from the Supreme Court, and till such time won’t take any decision on the proposed reforms.
In its July 24 SGM, which came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s July 18 verdict, the MCA had decided to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations in toto.
“We discussed the Lodha Committee recommendations and the Supreme Court judgment and unanimously approved all recommendations given by the Supreme Court. Now we will first redraw the constitution, get the draft approved by the managing committee before calling a Special General Meeting to get the amended constitution passed. We have six months’ time,” MCA president Sharad Pawar had said.
However, Pawar had said that on one issue — one state, one vote — the MCA needed clarification from the BCCI.
During the November 7 SGM, the MCA members agreed that the one state, one vote clause in the Lodha Committee recommendations was “unfair” and had the potential to “affect their very existence”. The meeting had been called to discuss the apex court’s directive that debarred the Indian cricket board from disbursing funds to state associations until absolute implementation of the Lodha reforms.
“It is hereby resolved that the recommendation of the Justice Lodha Committee on ‘One State One Vote’ is unfair to the Mumbai Cricket Association and affects its very existence in spite of its outstanding contribution to the game of cricket. It is further resolved that The Board of Control for Cricket in India should protect the interest of MCA and take up this matter with the Justice Lodha Committee and Supreme Court for recommendation,” read the minutes of the meeting.
At the time, The Indian Express had reported that one member, Shripad Halbe, had questioned the MCA’s decision to challenge the Supreme Court’s order in the Bombay High Court. “It’s not easy to criticise the Lodha Committee as it is now a Supreme Court order. As an association, we filed an intervention application. You cannot have a resolution where you reject the Supreme Court’s judgment. You can’t say zindabad, murdabad; this is not the way to deal with Supreme Court judgment,” he had said. “We will request the Supreme Court and will try to explain our stand. We are not going to criticise the report. We will request the board to explain to the Lodha Committee, the pride and history of Mumbai cricket and why it is not viable to sustain it if’ one state one vote’ is brought in,” Pawar told the house.
On July 18, the Supreme Court accepted a majority of the Lodha Committee’s recommendations on reforms in Indian cricket and gave the BCCI 5-6 months to implement them. It also appointed former chief justice of India R M Lodha to monitor and oversee the implementation.