State boards won’t get a single penny till BCCI obeys Lodha: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to give an inch to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) “defiance” and ordered that none of the Board’s member state associations will get a single rupee from the apex cricket body till they comply in “letter and spirit” with the Justice R M Lodha Committee reforms.
In a judgment, which was not announced beforehand or notified in the court’s cause list, a Bench, led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur stood firm by its October 7 decision to choke the financial jugular of the BCCI’s 25 state cricket associations till they fall in line.
The judgment asked the Committee to fix a ceiling limit for contracts the BCCI can enter into. Contracts worth beyond this financial limit would require the panel’s approval.
It also asked the Committee to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the BCCI accounts and fix the financial limits for contracts.
The court ordered the BCCI secretary and president to file compliance reports with the Committee and the Supreme Court in two weeks.
It asked the panel to apprise ICC chairman Shashank Manohar of the court’s orders.
On October 7, Chief Justice Thakur made the court’s stand clear by ordering that the BCCI will not disburse Rs 16.73 crore each to 12 state cricket associations. These dozen associations were yet to get the balance payment of their share from nearly Rs 2,500 crore the BCCI had received towards compensation on account of termination of Champion League T20.
Chief Justice Thakur had directed that the pending Rs 16.73 crore and any future funds would be released only after the state associations passed resolutions undertaking to comply with the panel’s reforms.
As for the remaining 13 member state associations who had received Rs 16.73 crore, they can only use the money after passing their respective resolutions to implement the reforms.
The court had made it clear that continued defiance by state associations would witness their shares invested in fixed deposit accounts until they change their minds.
The court had barred further disbursal of amounts, courtesy a resolution passed by at the Annual General Meeting held on November 9, 2015, or “any subsequent resolution” by the BCCI or its Working Committee, until the State associations submit their written undertakings to unconditionally comply with the Lodha reforms.
“The sequence of events that have taken place since July 18, 2016 and referred to in the status report [of the Lodha Committee] prima facie give an impression that the BCCI has far from lending its fullest cooperation to the Committee adopted an obstructionist and at times a defiant attitude which the Committee has taken note of and described as an impediment undermining not only the Committee, but even the dignity of this court,” Chief Justice Thakur wrote in the October 7 order.
Besides freezing the financial transactions between BCCI and its state bodies, the Supreme Court also directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to give undertaking on an affidavit, before the Lodha panel and in the apex court by December 3, stating how much time they would need to implement the reforms.
Lodha said the committee remains open to talking to BCCI top brass including Thakur to talk about the road ahead.