In historic recommendations for reforms in the BCCI’s set-up, a Supreme Court-appointed three-member committee under former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha in its report on Monday suggested that no politician or government servant be allowed to contest for the top posts, i.e office-bearers’ positions.
The posts of president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer are called office-bearers of the BCCI, but do not include the five vice-presidents, as per the BCCI’s constitution (uploaded on BCCI website for the first time on 7 October, 2015).
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Lodha also recommended to the Supreme Court that no persons be allowed to hold office-bearers’ post for more than three terms of three years each, or a total of nine years (See all major recommendations below).
The three-member panel also recommended that the BCCI be brought under the RTI Act, besides suggesting to the legislature to legalise betting with an “in-built mechanism”.
It, however, remains to be seen how many of these revolutionary recommendations will be accepted by the Supreme Court. And also, how the BCCI reacts to these recommendations and whether it moves the Supreme Court if it feels aggrieved by these suggestions.
All in all, in view of the Lodha panel’s report, there will be plenty at stake for officials who are currently in control of the BCCI as well as its affiliated state units as some of them are politicians drawn from all parties.
Interestingly, these recommendations have come before the BCCI hosts the ICC World Twenty20 in March-April.
The Supreme Court had appointed a three-member Lodha Committee – retired Supreme Court Judges Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran, being the other members — while delivering the landmark judgement in the IPL scandal case on January 22 last year.
The committee was constituted to determine quantum of punishment for the accused in the 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal, reforms in the BCCI, and quantum of punishment, if any, for former IPL COO Sundar Raman.
The two-member Supreme Court bench had initially given the Lodha Committee six months to submit its report, expiring on July 21 last year. On July 14, the committee submitted a report on IPL teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), and CSK’s Gurunath Maiyappan and RR’s part-owner Raj Kundra.
The Lodha Committee recommended life bans on Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra and suspension of CSK and RR for two years for their roles in IPL scandal. The BCCI then implemented both recommendations.
Here are some of the main recommendations made by the Lodha Committee:
- No ministers or government servant to hold posts in the BCCI
- Happy to share whatever discussions we had with BCCI president Shashank Manohar, he immediately put in action [some of the suggestions]
- My committee held 37-38 meetings, says ex-CJI Lodha on his investigation
- We interacted with all stakeholders, six former India captains also consulted. They included Bishan Singh Bedi, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Diana Edulji (women team captain), Kail Dev, and Rahul Dravid
- “BCCI has to now decide. The idea is to keep governance and management separate,” said Lodha
- Lodha panel recommends separate governing bodies for BCCI and IPL
- Limited autonomy proposed for IPL governing council
- Cricketers’ association is proposed. To be formed/run by BCCI’s financial support
- IPL Governing Council will have 9 members, including BCCI secretary and treasurer
- Lodha panel recommends a steering panel headed by former home secretary GK Pillai & having Mohinder Amarnath, DianaEdulji, Anil Kumble as members
- A former chief justice or high court judge will be ethics officer of BCCI
- Ethics officer will be ex-HC judge & there will be elected officer who’ll oversee election work
- BCCI election will be conducted by a former election Commissioner of India
- Lodha fixes criteria for contesting office-bearers’ posts — a maximum of nine years, or three terms of three years
- Lodha panel suggests the legislature to legalise betting with in-built mechanism
- Not enough evidence was found against ex-IPL COO SunderRaman, who was under the scanner for his role in the 2013 IPL betting-fixing scandal