SC Alters Lodha’s BCCI Proposals

The Supreme Court has finalised the new Constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

  • In a landmark decision on 18 July, 2016, the Supreme Court passed most of the reforms proposed by the Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha-led Committee in an effort to clean up cricket administration in India that had been maligned by the spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL).

Key Points

  • The court has rejected the ‘one State-one vote’ recommendation of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee and has altered the cooling-off period for cricket bosses.
    • The court disagreed with Justice Lodha that cricket could prosper only if the BCCI was represented by every State and Union Territory.
    • The court has recognised the validity of BCCI’s traditional structure and the cricketing legacy of associations like Vidarbha and Mumbai in Maharashtra and Baroda and Saurashtra in Gujarat and reinstated these entities as full members of the board with voting rights.
    • The one state-one vote rule had extinguished their representation while giving voting rights to states with feeble cricketing presence, raising fears of proxy or dummy voting.
  • The court has stated that to utilise territoriality as a basis of exclusion is problematic because it ignores history and the contributions made by such associations to the development of cricket and its popularity.
  • The SC has also increased the number of selectors from three to five, observing that a broad-based selection committee was required to tap the prodigious talent pool spread across the country.
  • Restriction in the composition of the selection committee had led to a situation where persons with limited experience were found to be eligible and made it to the committee.
    • The court retained the Lodha panel suggestion of barring government ministers or government servants from holding cricket office. It upheld the age cap of 70 years for cricket administrators.
  • As per the amendments, the cooling-off period will be effective after two consecutive terms.The office bearer will be eligible to contest for one last term after completely disassociating from cricket management, both in BCCI and state association, for three years.
    • Justice Lodha had suggested that the cooling-off period should kick in for a cricket administrator after his every tenure of three years in office.
    • However, the court said that an administrator need to cool-off only after two consecutive terms of six years in office, whether in the BCCI or a State association or a combination of both.
    • The court has observed that six years in continuation is a sufficiently long period for experience and knowledge gained to be deployed in the interest of the game without at the same time resulting in a monopoly of power.
  • The court upheld the Justice Lodha recommendation of an apex council to professionally manage the BCCI.
    • The council would consist of a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and other officers who must be recruited on a transparent and professional basis.
    • Of the nine members of the apex council, five (the president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer and a member) are to be elected by the General body.