The Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed some of the key recommendations made by Justice Lodha panel relating to reform cricket administration in the country, bringing respite to the embattled BCCI and some state associations.
Crucial modifications have been brought about in the ‘One State-One Vote’ policy and interpretation of the cooling-off period for BCCI office bearers.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra held that in place of having full membership right on a rotational basis, three prominent associations each in Maharashtra and Gujarat will henceforth be considered as full members individually.
Maharashtra will now have Maharashtra Cricket Association, Mumbai Cricket Association and Vidarbha Cricket Association as full members, getting voting rights and right to participate in the AGM.
Similarly, Gujarat will also have Gujarat Cricket Association, Saurashtra Cricket Association and Baroda Cricket Association as individual members.
The Court also accorded full membership to Railways, Services and Association of Universities.
This was done in view of the fact that these were associations more than a hundred years old and contributing to the game.
Supported by the BCCI, these associations had repeatedly argued against depriving their voting rights despite their contribution to the game.
While approving the draft Constitution of the BCCI, the bench also watered down the norm over ‘Cooling off’ period.
Instead of a three-year cooling off period after every term, the Court said that the stipulation will kick in after two consecutive terms.
The bench directed the BCCI and the state associations to adopt the new Constitution in letter and spirit.
Keeping the Committee of Administrators intact, the Court asked the CoA to monitor the developments and report back in case of non-compliance by any state association.
The bench clarified that the state associations can conduct elections after adopting the new Constitution.
The top court had earlier asked the state cricket associations and BCCI office-bearers to give suggestions on the draft constitution for the apex cricket body to the amicus, saying these have to be in tune with the Lodha panel recommendations and its verdict.
The draft, as finalised by the Court, would be binding on the BCCI and its affiliate bodies.
Justice Lodha panel had recommended a slew of structural reforms in BCCI which were approved by the apex court. The court had approved these recommendations such as ‘One State-One Vote’, ‘One Member-One Post’ and fixing an age-cap of 70 years on those occupying BCCI posts.
BCCI will now have to get the constitution registered in four weeks with the Tamil Nadu Registrar of societies and the board members will have to comply with the same within 30 days, intimating the COA.
In the draft constitution submitted to the court, the eligibility for becoming a national selector has been set at 20 first-class matches. This aspect will be clear once the full text of Thursday’s judgment is out.