SC bars BCCI from releasing funds to state associations
BCCI president Nurag Thakur (AFP)
New Delhi - BCCI has already disbursed funds to 17 state units
The Supreme Court on Friday barred the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until they give an unconditional undertaking that they will comply with the organisational reforms as recommended by the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur also said that the state associations of the BCCI will not disburse the funds already given to them by the country's apex cricketing body till they file an unconditional undertaking that they will implement the Lodha Committee recommendations. The court has asked BCCI President Anurag Thakur to file a personal affidavit stating whether he has written to International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman David Richardson, asking the game's world governing body to take a stand that the Supreme Court judgement and the Lodha Committee recommendations would amount to government interference in the affairs of the BCCI.
The BCCI has already disbursed funds to 17 state units. Around 13 state units are yet to receive any funds from the BCCI and the apex court has stated that the board must not disburse any money to them until they give an undertaking that they will abide by the directives of the Lodha panel.
The Supreme Court had lashed out at the BCCI last week, warning that the board will be forced to comply with the Lodha panel verdict if they did not implement the suggested changes by October 6.
On Thursday, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the BCCI, has pleaded before the court that it would be difficult for the BCCI to give an unconditional undertaking by Friday that it will hold back the funding of its state affiliates who would resist organisational reforms.
In response the bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had asserted that it would pass an order to that effect on Friday.
In an indication of the possible future course, the court in the course of Thursday's hearing had indicated that it had two options - one to appoint a panel of administrators to oversee the transition in BCCI or ask the Lodha Committee to do it.
The bench said the Lodha Committee could give more time to the country's apex cricketing body to carry out the recommendations or appoint a panel of administrators to effect the transition to new reformed order.
Last week, the BCCI's special general meeting (SGM) had decided to accept some of the recommendations put forward by the Lodha Committee although they continued to resist the order regarding the removal of the BCCI top brass.
The SGM had also decided to form an apex council to look into the working of the BCCI as per the report submitted by the Lodha panel to the apex court. The representative of Comptroller and Auditor General will also be included as a member of the apex council as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council.