The Sports Law and Policy Center organized a symposium of Sports Lawyers recently in Bangalore. In the symposium, sports lawyer Rahul Mehra commented strongly against BCCI’s current stance against the Supreme Court defying the Lodha Panel recommendation since more than two years. Per Mehra, this is a ‘Contempt of Court’ and its punishable by law. The lawyer has also filed a PIL against BCCI and its functioning in Delhi High Court. Per Mehra, BCCI is entitled to writ legislation as it is a private body carrying out public function. In a strong response, talking on “Sports Lawyering as Activism,” Mehra said, “somebody in BCCI should be sent to Tihar and there are many in the BCCI who deserve to be in jail.”
BCCI has been through a tumultuous period of administrative overhaul. Following Supreme Court’s order, the top brass of the board was removed forcefully and was replaced by a new committee and office dignitaries. A new CEO was appointed and several new changes were made within the working and administrative structure of the board. In the process, BCCI Chief Anurag Thakur resigned, being threatened of Contempt of Court by Supreme Court judges.
However, it has been a year since the new members has taken the office and a Committee of Administration headed by ex-CAG Vinod Rai steering the administrative overhaul. And, the Board is still stagnant on the previous issue against implementation of the Lodha recommendation. More importantly, several officials of BCCI as well as those associated with state boards are still not sacked even after being disqualified from their designations.
In July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court ordered the Lodha Committee to implement its recommendations within six months. Now it’s being a year and the recommendations are yet to be followed. While BCCI is becoming opaquer in its working the administration frictions are beginning to appear with cricket connoisseurs of the nation. While, BCCI included several officials not related to cricket anyhow, they are posing challenges to decisions of renowned professionals. The recent tussle between the Committee of Administration, headed by Vinod Rai and the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman is an exemplary showdown of this burgeoning rift.
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