19 April 2018 last updated at 03:55 GMT
 
CoA curtails BCCI office-bearers powers severely
Thursday 15 March 2018

In a fresh bid to establish who’s the boss in the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Thursday issued new directions to the office-bearers, which completely clip the wings of the former. 

 

Reminding acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary of the SC orders on 2nd and 30th January last year which authorise the CoA to supervise the functioning of the BCCI (through the CEO) besides implementing the Lodha reforms, CoA Vinod Rai has severely curtailed the powers of these office-bearers. 

 

As per the new directions, they will have to seek approval of the CoA for their travel expenses and giving notice for a meeting of a sub-committee. Their approval is now not necessary before making payments above Rs 25 lakhs or appointing someone. 

 

Crucially, the Board will now not bear expenses for any external legal advice that they undertake. The CoA has made it clear that all communication in the Board must be marked to it. Recently, the CoA had conveyed its displeasure with Choudhary after the acting secretary initiated talks for a day-night Test against the West Indies without its approval. Choudhary, in turn, had refused to approve the appointment of GM (Marketing) Priya Gupta. 

 

Lamenting these directions, an office-bearer told TOI: “This is akin to a fascist decision-the kind a despot running the country would take. These directions violate fundamental rights, the earlier orders of the SC itself. You’re preventing us from carrying out our duties, giving our legal representation. The CoA has displayed its lack of understanding and familiarity with the principles of corporate governance.” 

 

In its seventh status report, the CoA has already asked for the dismissal of these office-bearers on grounds of tenure. 

 

These fresh directions, Rai states, will overrule the previous set of directions in this regard, which the CoA had issued on April 6 last year due to “certain difficulties in functioning of the BCCI in terms of the said directions.” “These difficulties include decisions being taken without consulting the CoA, delay in providing feedback/ inputs to the CoA (when sought on particular issues) and extensive travel being undertaken by office bearers without the CoA knowing the purpose of such travel,” Rai points out. 

 

“Therefore, in order to address various difficulties and to better facilitate the supervision and control of the management and administration of BCCI, the CoA is of the view that it is now necessary to issue a fresh set of directions to replace the directions on April 6,” says Rai. 

 

Given below are the fresh directions issued by the CoA to the office-bearers: 

 

1. The existing office bearers and the CEO shall be bound to act in accordance with the directions of the CoA and shall aid, assist and cooperate with the CoA so as to enable it to (i) effectively supervise the management and administration of the BCCI through the CEO; (ii) ensure that the directions contained in the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s judgment dated 18th July 2016 (“Judgment”) are implemented; and (iii) supervise and control the functioning of the office bearers of the BCCI. The existing office bearers and the CEO shall take all necessary steps to ensure compliance and/or give effect to these directions. 

 

2. Except for those communications/ categories of communications which particular office bearers have been separately directed to address only to the CoA, all communications between the office bearers and any employees/retainers/ consultants of the BCCI shall be copied to the CEO and the CoA. Any employee/ retainer/ consultant of BCCI who receives a communication from any office bearer and finds that the same is not copied to the CEO and/or the CoA, shall immediately forward the same to the CEO and/or the CoA, as the case may be. 

 

3. The office bearers and/or their respective Executive Assistants shall not undertake any travel including but not limited to hotel accommodations at BCCI expense without the prior approval of the CoA. While seeking such approval, the concerned office bearer shall also communicate the proposed itinerary of travel along with details of the official work/ purpose for such travel. For the avoidance of doubt, it is clarified that the directions contained in this Paragraph 3 shall prevail over any existing travel policy notwithstanding that such travel policy may have earlier been approved by the CoA. 

 

4. Henceforth, BCCI shall not bear the expenses of any legal representation/ advice that any office bearer may seek from external legal advisers/ counsel in connection with Civil Appeal No. 4235 of 2014 and connected matters before the SC. 

 

5. The CEO alone shall continue to sign all pleadings, affidavits, applications, etc. in respect of legal proceedings filed by or against the BCCI. The CEO alone shall continue to issue instructions to advocates/ legal advisors in relation to fresh as well as pending legal proceedings under the supervision and control of the CoA. 

 

6. All contracts/ tender documents having value of above Rs. 25 lakhs shall be put up by the CEO before the CoA for approval. The acting secretary shall continue to sign all contracts/appointment letters on behalf of BCCI. However, if a contract/ appointment letter that has been approved by the COA is not signed by the acting secretary within reasonable time not exceeding 5 working days, the CoA may direct the CEO to sign such contract/ appointment letter. Once a contract/ appointment letter has been signed by the CEO as per the directions of the CoA, the same shall be binding on BCCI. 

 

 

7. All payments to be made on behalf of the BCCI shall be jointly approved by the acting secretary and the CEO. In the event one of them approves a payment and the other does not or fails either to reject or approve such payment within 3 days, the matter shall be placed before the CoA for its decision. In any event and notwithstanding the above, prior approval of the CoA shall be taken in respect of any payment where the beneficiary is the CEO, acting President, acting Secretary, treasurer or any employee who works exclusively with any of them. However, regular payments of salary/ other remuneration to such employees shall not require the prior approval of the CoA. 

 

8. Once a payment is approved and/or a decision is taken as aforesaid, the said payment shall be processed and/or decision implemented by the joint Secretary and the Treasurer within 3 working days. If a payment is not processed and/or decision is not implemented within 3 working days, the CoA may direct the other two signatories, namely Santosh Rangnekar and Saba Karim, to process the payment and/or implement the decision instead of the joint secretary and the treasurer. 

 

9. Any powers exercisable by any office bearer under the existing Memorandum and Rules and Regulations of BCCI (“Existing BCCI Constitution”) shall be exercised only with the prior approval of the CoA. As an illustration it may be pointed out that the power of the acting president to fill up any vacancies under Rule 13(a)(ii) of the Existing BCCI Constitution shall be exercised only with such prior approval as aforesaid.

 

 

10. Notice of any meeting of any committee/ sub-committee or the General Body of the BCCI shall be issued only with the prior approval of the CoA. While seeking such approval the convener of the relevant committee/sub-committee and/or the acting president/ acting secretary, as the case may be, shall also provide a draft notice and draft agenda for the proposed meeting as well as any related documents that are circulated and/or intended to be circulated to the persons/ members entitled to attend such meeting. The CEO shall be entitled to be present in any such meeting. All decisions taken during such meeting should be intimated by the chairman of the meeting to the CoA and the CEO in form of draft minutes of meeting as soon as possible after the said meeting. No decisions taken during such meeting shall be acted upon and/or implemented without the prior approval of the CoA. 

 

11. All information, correspondence, communications and discussions involving the CoA and any employee/ consultant/ retainer/ service provider shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person without the express written consent of the CoA.

 

12. In the event there is any difficulty in the implementation or execution of these directions or any other directions that have been or may be issued by the CoA, the CEO shall forthwith bring the same to the knowledge of the CoA to issue such further directions for implementation as it may consider necessary.

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