October 4, 2022
Sourav Ganguly, Jay Shah’s fate in Supreme Court, hearing begins on BCCI’s plea to amend the constitution

The Supreme Court has begun hearing the BCCI’s plea requesting several amendments to its constitution, which may roll back some of the most significant reforms recommended by the RM Lodha Committee and approved by the court in 2018.

A two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli heard BCCI’s legal counsel Tushar Mehta, who is also the Solicitor General of India, along with amicus curiae Maninder Singh. The court also heard the Cricket Association of Bihar, the original litigant that had filed a petition against the BCCI after the 2013 IPL corruption scandal, which ultimately led to changes in the BCCI constitution.

The court said it would resume the hearing on Wednesday afternoon, without giving any indication whether it would deliver the verdict on the same day.

Tuesday was the first time in two years that the court was hearing the BCCI’s plea, originally filed in December 2019. The board then filed a fresh application in April 2020 and recently has been pressuring the court for an urgent hearing of the matter to see what the outcome would be. A significant bearing on the BCCI elections to be held in late September.

The major reforms that the BCCI has asked the court to review include mandatory cooling-off period for its office bearers, revising the disqualification criteria to hold office, giving unprecedented powers to the board secretary and barring the court from saying Whether BCCI wants to change its constitution in future. (Read more about the proposed amendments to the BCC here)

As per the re-drafted BCCI constitution, which came into force in 2018, an office-bearer/administrator has to go on a cooling-off period of three years, either in a state association or have completed two consecutive terms (six years). Huh. BCCI, or a combination of both. That person also automatically becomes ineligible to contest or hold any post – either in the State or the BCCI – during the cooling-off period.

In 2018, the court had relaxed the criterion for the cooling-off period originally stated in the recommendations of the Lodha Committee, which was the basis of the new BCCI constitution. As per the recommendations of the Lodha Committee, an office-bearer in the BCCI or state associations will have to take a three-year break after completing a three-year term. However, the court changed that clause, allowing an office-bearer to serve two consecutive terms (six years) in a state association or BCCI, or a combination of both, while a maximum of nine years in one organization (state or BCCI). term is retained. group).

Incidentally, the 2018 court ruling was passed by Justice Chandrachud, who said: “Allowing a person to serve as an office bearer for six consecutive years is a measure of experience and knowledge to be deployed in the interest of sport.” a sufficiently long period for Justice Chandrachud said the cooling-off period was necessary as it would act as a “defense” against “vested personal interests”, as well as “concentration of power in a few hands” while encouraging more administrators to gain experience. will ensure against

Justice Chandrachud wrote in his judgment, “Cooling off should be accepted as a means to prevent some from viewing the administration of cricket as a private ground.” “The sport would be better off without the cricketing elites.”

In October 2019, a new BCCI administration was elected with Sourav Ganguly as president, Jay Shah as secretary, Arun Dhumal as treasurer and Jayesh George as joint secretary. Within two months of taking office, the Ganguly administration moved the court opposing the cooling-off period: it wanted the cooling-off period to apply when the office-bearer held the same position for six consecutive years – Either a state association or BCCI, but not a combination of both. This was reiterated by both Mehta, Singh and senior legal counsel Kapil Sibal, representing Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

At present, all the five BCCI office-bearers, including vice-president Rajeev Shukla, have completed six consecutive years in one office or the other, having previously served in their respective state associations before becoming office-bearers of the BCCI. Ganguly was due to begin his cooling-off period after July 2020, starting as secretary at the Cricket Association of Bengal in 2014, after which he became the association’s president in 2015, and again in September 2019, before moving to the BCCI. selected from. , As for Shah, he was elected joint secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) in 2014. GCA’s internal records show that Shah’s tenure began on September 8, 2013. In Shukla’s case, he is ineligible to continue as a BCCI office – by virtue of his being a Member of Parliament – a politician cannot act as an office-bearer according to the board’s constitution.

Not everyone agrees with the BCCI, including Subramanian Swamy, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party that leads the Indian government. According to Bar & Bench, an Indian legal website, Swamy has challenged the BCCI by filing a petition in the court, stating that the purpose of his petition is to “deny and destroy” the cooling-off period, resulting in power The monopoly is in hand. of certain individuals”, and “destroying the quintessence” of a 2018 Supreme Court decision.

Nagraj Gollapudi ESPNcricinfo. news editor in

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