Lodha Panel going much beyond judgment: BCCI - Kashmir Sports Watch  

Lodha Panel going much beyond judgment: BCCI

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NEW DELHI: The BCCI guided by senior advocate Kapil Sibal made a frontal attack on the Justice Lodha panel and told the Supreme Court+ on Monday that it was going much beyond the apex court demarcated reform parameters.

The SC had started fresh proceedings after the Lodha panel submitted a report detailing the persistent attempts by the BCCI management to stall reforms in utter defiance of the apex court’s July 18 judgment.

When a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur pointed out that the Lodha panel said the BCCI was defying the court’s order, Sibal said: “It appears as if the Lodha panel wants to run cricket administration. I will humbly request the court to leave the administrative decisions to the board. The game of cricket should be allowed to develop in a professional manner.”

“There is no defiance of SC judgment. The board cannot take a decision on this unless three-fourth of its members approved the reforms for implementation. We are persuading them. Give us some time,” Sibal said. The bench said that the Board could have come to the court earlier explaining its difficulties in implementing the reforms.

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The BCCI said that there were several reforms which were very difficult to implement, especially the one-state one-vote criteria. “The kind of language theLodha Committee has used is not what one expects of an eminent body. Let the board file an affidavit and inform the court what it can implement within which time frame. We will also point out how the committee is going much beyond the judgment. We are all fallible. All of us can make mistakes. The court should also look into whether the committee committed mistakes in recommending certain reforms.”

 The bench asked senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, who appeared for Lodha committee, whether there were methods other than contempt of court proceedings to make the board fall in line. Among other things, Subramaniam said the court could also make the board take approval of the committee for releasing money above Rs 25 lakhs.

This invited a sarcastic comment from Sibal, who said: ‘Let the Committee choose a person who should be given the sole right to withdraw money for BCCI and order spending it in a manner desired by him. He would be the most powerful person in the cricket board.”

 Though said sarcastically, it gave an indication that at stake was the control over finances in the world’s richest cricket body. Subramaniam added salt to the wounds by reminding the court that BCCI was still not making an unqualified statement to implement the SC judgment. “It is not open to the BCCI to say it now that it will not be able to honour the judgment and that it requires changes in it. The judgment was passed after hearing all sides for days.”

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