The Big Picture- Lodha Committee versus BCCI: Implications?
The confrontation between the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha Committee and BCCI has come to the fore again. The BCCI had virtually rejected most of the major reforms suggested by the Committee in its recent meeting. Meanwhile, the Committee has written to the BCCI’s banks to stop two specific payments being made by Board. However, this has been seen by BCCI as freezing the Board’s finances and accounts. BCCI’s President has said that it is not possible to run the game without money. The Lodha Committee also suggested the Supreme Court to supersede the Board’s present office bearers to make way for new people.
Views and Counterviews:
- The Supreme Court hearing after hearing has told the BCCI to implement the Lodha Committee’s Report. The Committee consisted of senior judges of the Supreme Court. It is the detailing of the functioning of the Board for improvement of the game which the Supreme Court desires to make it a clean public body which carries out largely a public function. The Board may put objections but unless the Supreme Court agrees with the Board; it the Lodha Committee that will prevail. This is being also said as judicial over reach by those who are against the recommendations of the Committee.
- BCCI may be an institution but is not bound by any National Sports Federation hence; action can be taken on it. However, there are also views that sports does not come under central jurisdiction under the law and so it should not interfere in the matters of the Board. Apart from this, CBI or any anti-corruption agency have had carried out their enquiries. The only thing wrongly done by BCCI is that they tried to manipulate the Supreme Court judgement as done in case of misuse of funds. The widespread corruption which prevails is well known from examples of Meiyappan case.
- At the end of the day BCCI is defying the judgement of Supreme Court of India and their major reason for contention is that Board will suffer which is not the actual problem. The people who run the Board will lose their office because as per the recommendations, they have already served their term. Justice Katju may have become a tool for the BCCI, in its desperate attempt to resist changes suggested by the Supreme Court. But whether BCCI would succeed in its resistance or not remains a question.
- As far as one state one vote is concerned, this has also been rejected by the Board. States like Gujarat and Maharashtra have multiple votes each and states from North-East have no vote. Uttar Pradesh has one vote. The Committee has not denied the multiple associations their rights. They will get their money, run their cricket etc. This is only a matter of fairer representation.
- In case of payments being stopped for BCCI or spending of money, it is said that there were no recommendations. The Supreme Court ordered Lodha Committee to oversee the recommendations being followed by BCCI and there was a time period of 4-6 months for that. According to the findings, there was a deadline of 30th September 2016 beyond which the BCCI could not pass these orders and it could only be taken by a new body for future. Therefore, only two specific payments were stopped. Day to day expenditures has not been stopped.
Unless a judgement is reviewed by the Supreme Court itself, it is binding for the parties involved to adhere to it and obey it. Therefore, BBCI does not have an elbow room to reject the recommendations. It can be said that right now the BCCI is like a batsman who is not acting even after the finger has gone up.