Supreme Court okays BCCI draft charter with changes

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a go ahead to the BCCI’s new draft constitution with some changes. The new constitution has lifted the bar on limiting the tenure of office bearers with an age cap of 70 years besides giving voting rights to four legacy cricket associations.

The SC also cautioned the state associations that they will face action if they don’t switch to the new constitution in the next 30 days. Many state associations were opposed to the restrictions on age and tenure of office bearers. The new charter was framed on the recommendations of the SC appointed Lodha Committee.

The SC ruling came as a breather for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which was not comfortable with the Lodha Committee’s recommendations, especially on the issue of cooling off period of one year and the ‘one state one vote’ proposal.

The SC in July 2016 had accepted most of the recommendations of the Lodha Committee which was constituted in 2015 to clean up the cricket administration system that had come under cloud after a series of scandals.
The committee had recommended a cooling off period after just one tenure, instead of two. It had also recommended the ‘one state, one vote’ policy, due to which some city and regional cricket associations like Mumbai and Saurashtra had lost their place in BCCI, which was allowed to give membership only to state associations. Thursday’s ruling waters down the key recommendations of the Lodha panel. The SC reinstated the memberships of Mumbai, Saurashtra, Vadodara and Vidarbha, whose voting rights were taken away by the Lodha Committee. The four associations are considered legacy bodies considering their long-term association with the game.

The SC bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the registrar general of Tamil Nadu Societies – where the charter is registered – to bring on record the approved BCCI constitution within four weeks.

The SC also restored permanent membership of Railways, Services and Universities, which are not full cricket associations but are ‘boards’.

Last month, the court had stopped state cricket associations from holding elections till the finalisation of the draft constitution.

The move to have a cooling off period for the office bearers was opposed by Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, which was also opposed to the age restriction of 70 years. 

The Lodha panel was formed in the wake of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms in the BCCI. The Mudgal panel had gone into the state of affairs of the BCCI, following the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing controversy.