Supreme Court acts tough, bars BCCI from releasing funds to state associations


In a significant blow to the BCCI’s age-old autonomy, the Supreme Court on Friday barred it from releasing funds to state associations saying that state associations will not get funds unless a resolution is passed to implement justice Lodha committee reforms.

The apex court said that Rs 16.72 cr each disbursed to 13 state bodies should not be spent till they file affidavit on reforms.

The BCCi counsel, according to PTI, said that the cricket body was not averse to reforms but there were technical impediments. To which the SC said that ‘we will remove them.’

The next hearing is on 17 October.

The apex court, which warned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from “precipitating” the issue, also directed its President Anurag Thakur to explain by filing “personal affidavit”, the allegation that he had asked the ICC in a communication to say that implementation of the apex court-ordered reforms would amount to govermental interference and lead to BCCI’s disqualification from international cricket.

Long-standing cricket administrator Ratnakar Shetty, currently BCCI’s General Manager (cricket operation), was also directed by the top court to come clear by placing on affidavit copies of the document and BCCI resolution that authorised him to file affidavits on its behalf before the Lodha panel, which had passed a slew of directions for massive restructuring of cricket bodies in the country.

Shetty was asked to file a personal affidavit enclosing the resolution which authorised him to make statements relating to the response made in pursuance to Lodha Committee report.

Both Thakur and Shetty have been directed by the apex court to file separate affidavits within 10 days before the matter is taken up for further hearing on October 17.

In a short interim order which allayed all apprehensions about any hindrance to the domestic criketing season, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also directed the 12 state associations to freeze the amounts received by them from BCCI through the September 30 Special General Body Meeting till they agreed to the reform measures.

It also made it clear that the amount of Rs 16.72 crore each disbursed to 13 state cricket associations should not be spent till they filed affidavits and resolutions before the Lodha panel and the apex court that they would implement the directions in letter and spirit for reforms.

It warned those state cricket associations, which have received the funds but failed to adopt a resolution and undertaking under affidavit before the Lodha Panel and the apex court to abide by directions for reforms, that they would be forbidden from spending the funds which should be kept in fixed deposits.

This came a day after Chief Justice of India, Justice TS Thakur slammed the BCCI president and a BJP MP, Anurag Thakur.

“Even I am the captain of the Supreme Court cricket team,” Chief Justice T S Thakur had observed on Thursday after India’s richest sports body defended its President Anurag Thakur’s qualification to be a office bearer of the cash-rich body.

The observation by the Chief Justice came after the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, asked about the qualification of the BCCI office- bearers.

“What is the qualification for the office bearers? Do they have any special or essential qualification? Is the President of BCCI a politician,” the bench asked.