SC directs CoA to draft new BCCI constitution; issues show cause to board's top brass

NEW DELHI: "It ain't over till the fat lady sings". Still, after much tiresome legal manoeuvrings by the legal eagles of the BCCI, the goose finally appears to be truly cooked for the recalcitrant mandarins of the world's richest and most powerful cricket board.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) managing the affairs of the BCCI to prepare a draft of a new constitution on the basis of its directions based on the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations that it has endorsed. 

The Court has directed the CoA to ensure that the draft constitution be prepared by August 30. 

Posting the matter for further hearing on September 19, the court said a copy of the draft constitution would be given to all the counsel representing the BCCI, state associations, Railways and Association of Indian Universities and others.

"The draft constitution will be circulated to BCCI and BCCI will give its suggestions," IANS quotes the Supreme Court as having said. "We are open on certain issues but BCCI hasn't done anything."

The Court said that all these entities will file in writing their objections, if any, to the draft constitution and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, assisting the court as amicus curiae, would prepare a chart of all of them and also file a response to them.

 In a related action, the Apex Court issued a  show cause notice to BCCI's top three office-bearers - acting president CK Khanna, treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary and secretary Amitabh Choudhary - for being party to the open defiance of the Apex Court's directives on implementing the Lodha reforms during the board's special general meeting of 26 July.

The Bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud has issued summons to the three to appear in person on September 19 when the case is taken up for further arguments. 

The Court will consider the report submitted by the CoA which wants removal of all three - stating that their conduct was 'unfit' and that they weren't in a position to 'make good' on their undertakings of implementing the Lodha reforms.

The CoA has further asked for the management, administration and governance of Indian cricket to be entrusted exclusively in their hands till the new set of office-bearers is appointed via fresh elections.

Subramanium told the Bench that the three BCCI office-bearers were the persons responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Justice Lodha panel and the top court's directions, but they have not done that so far.

Subramanium further drew the Court's attention to adverse observations made by Justice (retired) Vikramjit Sen, former Supreme Court judge and also the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court, who is currently the administrator of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), about the goings on during the SGM. 

Justice Sen, who was present at the SGM, said that "the whole meeting seems to be not to implement Justice Lodha Committee recommendations".

There is some irony though in the fact that former BCCI and ICC top boss N Srinivasan, the man said to be at the centre of all the moves to ensure the Lodha reforms were rendered inoperable, has escaped the wrath of the Supreme Court by virtue of his technically being "out of the picture" throughout the whole sorry episode.