New Delhi: Just a day after the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators decided to take away all functioning powers of the three principal BCCI office bearers, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has hit back by writing a scathing letter to the committee headed by former CAG Vinod Rai.
In the letter Amitabh Choudhary has questioned the CoA’s motives behind constantly hounding the BCCI members, rather than working in tandem with them to implement the reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee. The letter goes on to question several decisions taken by the committee ever since its formation and accuses the committee of systematically taking away powers from the BCCI office bearers.
In the letter Choudhary has accused the CoA of not following due procedure while appointing senior professionals and of also creating roles like GM (Marketing and Digital Communication), which never existed in the board.
This comes after the CoA stopped board officials from using the BCCI funds to meet legal expenses in connection to the Lodha Panel related cases. The officials now cannot plan their travel and accommodation for various meetings without CoA’s permission.
Here are excerpts from the letter, which is in possession of Cricketnext –
“As my humble mind understands, the orders dated 02.01.2017 and 30.01.2017 had two parts: a) Expeditious implementation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment of July 18, 2016, and, b) supervision of management and administration of the BCCI. The spirit of the orders clearly is that the latter role had been assigned to facilitate the execution of the primary role of implementation of reforms. However, despite my best efforts I have still not been able to find in these orders, the two cardinal aspects that the CoA has been giving effect to since your very first day in office, namely, that i) No office bearers exist ii) CoA will supplant and replace the office bearers and assume their powers and functions. Doubtlessly, the undersigned will remain ever grateful to the Committee for showing under what lawful authority has it been giving effect to the two aspects referred to above.”
“While nominating the persons who would constitute the Committee of Administrators for the supervision of BCCI, the Hon’ble Court vide the same order dated 30.01.2017 noted as under:
‘9. Be it noted, on the last occasion, it was submitted by Mr. Datar that B.C.C.I. has to send a nominee to attend the meeting of ICC which is likely to be held in the first week of February, 2017. For the aforesaid purpose, names have been suggested by Mr. Datar. Considering the names suggested by Mr. Datar, we are of the opinion that three persons, one from the Committee of Administrators and two from the B.C.C.I. shall attend the ICC meeting so that there will be objectivity and transparency. For the aforesaid purpose, we nominate, Mr. Amitabh Choudhary, Joint Secretary, and Mr. Anirudh Chaudhry, Treasurer, B.C.C.I. and Mr. Vikram Limaye, Managing Director and CEO, IDFC Ltd. Needless to say, B.C.C.I. shall make all arrangements for and bear the expenses of the same. It is further clarified that these persons have been nominated to attend the ICC meeting only for this time.”
“However, the very first act of the Committee of Administrators who assumed charge on 31.01.2017 was to show complete disregard to the above order within 24 hours of its pronouncement. In complete violation of the said order the Committee of Administrators, acting through the CEO of BCCI, communicated with the ICC via e- mail on 31.07.2017 as under:-
The Committee of Administrators appointed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court to administer the BCCI met in Mumbai today under the Chief of the Committee, Mr. Vinod Rai.
The Committee has informed me to communicate the following requests to the ICC:
1. Mr. Vikram Limaye has been nominated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to attend the ICC Board meetings on behalf of the BCCI.
The Committee has also requested that since this is Mr. Limaye’s first outing with the BCCI, the ICC may kindly allow one additional person from the BCCI in the meeting who could sit in as the Observer and assist Mr. Limaye.
2. F&CA Meeting: The BCCI has been represented in the F&CA Committee by Shri. Anurag Thakur in his capacity as Chairman of the Development Committee. The Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed Committee has requested that the ICC allow Mr. Vikram Limaye attend the meeting.
3. Chief Executives’ Committee: The Committee of Administrators has recommended that Mr. Rahul Johri, CEO BCCI participate in the CEC.
This is for your information and the necessary confirmation.
It is evident from the order itself that the Hon’ble Court had given no liberty to the committee to modify the order and upon being informed about the violation by Mr. Kapil Sibal on 01.02.2017, the Hon’ble Court observed that their order was very clear and the Hon’ble Court stopped at that only on account of the assurance from the learned Amicus that all the three persons nominated by the Hon’ble Court will represent the BCCI in the ICC.”
“As if the above was not enough, you chose to write directly to the CEO of ICC on 01.02.2017 incorrectly representing the Hon’ble Court’s orders in the following words:
“As a consequence of these two orders, the Committee of Administrators is in charge of the management and administration of the BCCI and duly empowered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to take decisions for and on behalf of the BCCI. Accordingly, I have consulted with the other members of the Committee of Administrators and am addressing this email to you for and behalf of the BCCI.”
"It is strange that while you keep referring to the order dated 30.01.2017 so often, you have failed to notice that even in the said order, the Hon’ble Court had made a clear distinction between the COA and the BCCI being aware that the CoA had a very limited and defined role whereas the BCCI as an institution had to continue to function through its office bearers. This was further confirmation of the original view of the court that the BCCI must continue to function and had therefore it had been careful to nominate its acting president and acting secretary after removing its President and Secretary in its January 2nd order.”
“With this as the background one is not at a loss to understand what occasioned the latest directives. By all accounts, it seems they sprang from the COA being left without an answer by the undersigned’s reasoned and point by point missive on the irregular appointment process of the so called GM Marketing which also sought to address your unfounded concerns on introducing day night test matches in India. In the process there is now a further confirmation of your long standing effort to continue to run down the office bearers by going so far as even preventing them from appearing in Court through their counsels effectively gagging even their fundamental rights and ensuring that there is no contrary viewpoint before the Hon’ble Court.”
“The orders dated 02.01.2017 and 30.01.2017 clearly lay down the job of the committee viz, the implementation of July 18, 2016 order and supervision of administration and management of the affairs of the BCCI. The spirit of the orders clearly is that the former was Committee’s primary job and until this primary job is concluded expeditiously the Commitee were required to supervise the administration in the interim. The supervision part was only for the interim period and what is cardinal to the whole scheme is that the Hon’ble Apex Court was clear that the office bearers not only existed while you thought and believed they did not, they must discharge their responsibilities. The scheme does not even remotely suggest that the CoA could supplant the office bearers or the General Body of the BCCI. Yet right from day one, as has been demonstrated, the entire effort seems to be directed at ousting the office bearers, preventing the office bearers from functioning and repeatedly enjoining the court to do away with them which further strengthens the view that rather than implementation of the reforms your interest lies elsewhere.”
“Coming back to the paramount goal of realization of reforms in the BCCI i.e. the implementation of the 18th July order, I do not recall of any mail or other communication made to me in the last 8 months which refers to the implementation of the reforms.”
“On the other hand it has only been on account of my single handed efforts in the last few months, being bound by the undertaking given before the highest court of the land, that as many as 13 full members of the BCCI, nearly half of the Board, have converged upon one point of view of accepting all reforms barring the Board, have converged upon one point of view of accepting all reforms barring the very few impracticable ones as has been mandated by the Apex Court on July 24, 2017. An email embodying this said convergence has been sent to other members of the BCCI and was even forwarded to you. I am hopeful that more members will come around by the time I file my affidavit before the Hon’ble Court.”
“Several appointments have been made in the BCCI without any information of the procedure adopted to the office bearers even on posts that hitherto did not exist in the BCCI like that of the GM (Marketing and Digital Communication). Selections to the post of the Director NCA, the head of the ACU and many other posts have been made on the basis of the advertisements issued by the undersigned but the undersigned was kept completely in the dark about the selection process and the decisions made therein till suddenly the appointment letters were dropped by e-mail for being signed on the dotted line.”
“Considering more than a year has elapsed since the appointment of the Committee the undersigned therefore requests the Committee, with all humility at his command, that instead of running each other down it guides us all with single minded determination towards the paramount objective of expediting the implementation of the 18th July, 2017 judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.”