On Monday, the Supreme Court pointed out that it was open to calm its order directing the BCCI to accept the Justice Lodha Panel’s recommendations in full. The important areas in which the Supreme Court claims its willingness to rethink are decreases in the number of national selectors to three from five, the one-state one-vote norm and the associate membership.
The Supreme Court of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said to the Indian cricket board on Monday that “All concerned shall implement the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee report as far as practicable, barring the issues which have been raised pertaining to membership, number of members of the selection committee, concept of associate membership, etc.”
The Supreme Court bench on Monday reported that it must be implemented, “As far as practicable and thereafter it shall be debated as to how the scheme of things can be considered so that cricket, the gentleman’s game, remain nearly perfect.”
N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah had suffered a hindrance when Supreme Court reserved them from participating in the SGM. Amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium and CoA counsel Parag Tripathi said that Srinivasan was expelled from BCCI due to conflict of interest and disqualified from becoming an office-bearer.
“The SC judgment was categorical about him. He could not have become an office-bearer of TNCA. But he secured a back-door entry to the SGM by getting nominated. This is in violation of the spirit of the SC judgment,” said Supreme Court bench.
Srinivasan’s counsel Kapil Sibal asked, “Can the CoA ask any cricket association not to nominate a particular person? Will that not violate the fundamental right of the association under Article 19(c) of the Constitution? The SC judgment does not debar Srinivasan from getting nominated. Why is this targeting of a single individual nominated by TNCA?”
“There are 18 associations in BCCI. Is the CoA trying to tell Supreme Court that Srinivasan can influence all 18 to impede implementation of reforms? But let me tell you candidly, there are serious problems in implementing the SC judgment directing the implementation of the reforms.”
The bench added, “The (July 18) judgment has to be modified. But till then, whatever has to be implemented must be done. We suggest you hold the SGM to act on the Lodha recommendations. Come back to us and tell which of the recommendations can be implemented and those which cannot be. All cricket associations must cooperate. Debate on objections but do not stall SGM.”
Talking about the players who could not play Test matches due to the presence of the spin quartet like – Bishan Singh Bedi, B S Chandrasekhar, E A S Prasanna and S Venkataraghavan. “Someone may have just played one or two Test matches and another could have played domestic cricket for years with great success. Will it be justified to keep out the latter from the panel of selectors?”
“One-state one-vote may not be a good idea for the country, where many associations historically have played a significant role and now find themselves out of cricket administration.”