Cracking the whip on a defiant BCCI, the Supreme Court on Monday removed its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, saying they should “forthwith cease and desist from” the board’s work. The apex court also decided to initiate contempt proceedongs against Thakur by seeking his response as to why he should not be held liable for obstructing the implementation of the court’s directions aimed at reforming BCCI.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said that working of BCCI will be looked after by a committee of administrators and requested senior advocate Fali S Nariman and senior advocate Gopal Subramanian, who was assisting in the matter as amicus curaie, to assist the court in nominating persons of impeccable integrity as the members in the committee of administrators.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said that Nariman and Subramanian will complete the task in two weeks and the matter for passing the direction for nominating the persons in committee of administrators will be taken up on January 19.
It clarified that till the new administrators take over the working of BCCI, the senior most vice president of the board will act as the president and the present joint secretary will assume the work as secretary.
The apex court directed that all office bearers of BCCI and state associations will have to give their undertaking that they will abide by the directions of the top court that has accepted the recommendations of the panel headed by former chief justice of India R M Lodha.
It warned that office bearers of BCCI or state associations who “fails to meet” the norms of the Lodha panel, accepted by the apex court, “shall demit the post and cease to be office bearers”.
It made it clear that as per the recommendations of the Lodha panel which has been accepted by the apex court, no person above 70 years of age, unsound mind, ministers, government servant, convicted persons and those who have held the posts for cumulative period of nine years and those who are part of any other sports association shall be eligible to hold any position in the cricket bodies.
During the December 15, 2016 hearing, the apex court had threatened to initiate contempt and perjury proceedings against Thakur for asking the ICC CEO for a letter but denying it on oath, warning he may have to go to jail if found guilty.
The court had reminded the BCCI top brass that Thakur as president of the board had asked for a letter from ICC CEO Dave Richardson that the appointment of a CAG nominee in the cricket body would compromise with autonomy and amount to government interference.