The Supreme Court on Monday appointed a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, to run the affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said the other members of the committee are to be: historian Ramchandra Guha, managing director & CEO of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) Vikram Limaye and former women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji.
The court also appointed a three-member committee comprising BCCI Joint Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and Limaye to represent the Indian cricket board at the three-day International Cricket Council (ICC) meet starting on February 2.
While appointing four administrators, the court for now “deferred” a suggestion by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to appoint the Secretary, Ministry of Sports, as one of the administrators. It cited July 18, 2016, apex court verdict that barred a minister or a government official from becoming the office-bearer of the national cricketing body.
The Attorney General had appeared for the Railways, inter-Services sports board and the Association of Universities.
The court cold-shouldered the submission by senior counsel Kapil Sibal that Vinod Rai was disqualified from being a part of the CoA as he is a Chairman, Bank Board Bureau — a position under the Central government. As the head of the Banks Board Bureau, he is involved in the appointment of the heads of the public sector banks and the banking reforms.
The court said BCCI CEO Johri will submit to the Rai committee the report on the implementation or otherwise of the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations for organisational reforms in the board.
Directing the next hearing of the matter on March 27, the bench said that the CoA will submit its report on the status of the implementation of the Justice Lodha Committee recommendation to the court in four weeks’ time.
It noted that Justice Lodha Committee had made 19 recommendations and 16 time-lines. It also noted that submission by Sibal that “most of the recommendations of Justice Lodha Commitrtee have been compiled with”, has been disputed by counsel for the Lodha panel and also panel secretary Gopal Shankarnarayanan.
The court brushed aside suggestion by senior counsel Arvind Datar that the CoA should work without any remuneration as the BCCI officer-bearers have been doing.
Rejecting the suggestion by Datar — who had appeared for the BCCI — the court said that he (Datar) would submit a proposal for a “respectful” remuneration for the administrators.
“When I (office-bearers of the BCCI) work pro bono, then why they (CoA) should not work pro bono,” Datar told the bench.
Saying that for now it was only interested in seeing that Justice Lodha panel’s recommendations were carried out, the court declined to pass any order on hearing a batch of applications seeking to shield the state associations from Lodha panel recommendations.
It was contended on their behalf that they could not be subjected to the Lodha recommendations as they have not been heard. They referred to an earlier judgment which said that the reforms were limited only to BCCI and not applicable to its State affiliates.