Former Chief Justice of India and Lodha panel’s head RM Lodha has slammed the Committee of Administrators (CoA) for failing to do the primary task for which the committee was appointed earlier this year.
The Supreme Court, in 2016, had accepted the major recommendations of the Lodha panel on structural reforms in the BCCI and had given six months deadline to the board to implement the recommendations.
But with the BCCI officials hesitating in implementing the reforms, the apex court, in January this year, appointed the four-member committee of administrators to run the affairs of the BCCI and implement court-approved recommendations.
However, the CoA has also not worked on the expected lines so far, disappointing Justice RM Lodha who is now expecting a swifter action from the Vinod Rai-led panel.
“It is really disappointing. It is unfortunate that almost a year has passed and the judgment of the highest court passed on July 18, 2016, is yet to be implemented. Once a party has suffered the judgment from the court, that too from the highest court, it is not the chooser. The order has to be implemented. Of course, it has been delayed but I hope that the order will be implemented at the earliest,” Lodha told India Today.
“Surely, the primary task given to them (CoA) was to implement the order of last year. That has not been done. Perhaps, COA has been involved in incidental matters so nothing could be taken forward. I hope it is done now at the earliest,” he added.
Earlier this week, the ongoing episode in the Indian cricket fraternity took another turn when the BCCI constituted a seven-member committee to see how the Lodha panel recommendations are implemented by the board in the best possible and swiftest manner.
Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla has been given the responsibility of heading the committee comprising of Amitabh Chaudhary, Sourav Ganguly, T.C. Mathew, Naba Bhattacharjee, Jay Shah and Anirudh Chaudhry.
Mr Lodha further said the BCCI has no option but to follow the court’s instructions and implement the recommendations.
“There is no question of BCCI getting away with this,” said the former Chief Justice. “BCCI had its full say before the Supreme Court after we submitted our report. They put forth all their objections, submissions which were deliberated and heard fully. Thereafter, the Supreme Court passed its judgment on July 18 last year, ratifying our report. So, that has now become the judgment of the court. Thereafter, the BCCI also filed the review petition but they were unsuccessful. Then they filed a curative petition, there also they failed. It is only bogeyed if BCCI says that certain implementations are not implementable. Once the SC has approved it, it has become the judgment of the court. Everything can be implemented. Maybe, one or two individuals are affected and therefore they say that they can’t implement these recommendations.”
When asked about the next step of the apex court in case the board hesitates to implement the reforms, the 68-year old added:
“Of course, that is the last resort (SC enforcing the recommendations) because the judgment of the highest court cannot remain unenforced and unimplemented. So, obviously, it will be taken to its logical conclusion. I fail to understand their (BCCI) stance. The report is in black and white, approved by the Supreme Court. It should’ve been implemented. The Memorandum of Associations should’ve been amended, the regulations suggested by us must have been put in place. This is how a judgment is implemented. They (COA) are the in charge of BCCI affairs so I hope they will do it at the earliest.”
Meanwhile, BCCI’s newly-formed seven-member committee will hold a meeting on Saturday (July 8) to look into the implementation of the reforms. The meeting was slated to take place on July 7 but was postponed by a day due to the unavailability of one of the committee members Jay Shah.