NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has pronounced the judgment stating that BCCI is covered under the RTI Act and answerable to the people of the country under its mechanism. As a result of the ruling, the board is now “answerable to the people of the country”.
“The SC has also reaffirmed that the BCCI is the ‘approved’ national-level body holding virtually monopoly rights to organize cricketing events in the country,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in a 37-page long order. Information Commissioner Madabhushi Sridhar noted in the order, “The SC has also reaffirmed that the BCCI is the ‘approved’ national-level body holding virtually monopoly rights to organize cricketing events in the country”.
Acharyulu also directed the BCCI to put in place, within 15 days, online and offline mechanisms to receive applications for information under the RTI Act.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s observations, dismissing the need for a cooling off period for BCCI office-bearers, came as a ray of hope today for the embattled body, which said its position against the contentious Lodha committee reform stands vindicated.
“The Honourable judges heard our plea and made observations which has filled us with positivity. I feel now our (him and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry’s) position is vindicated,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said.
His comments came in the wake of the Supreme Court’s observation that cooling off period does not seem necessary if the office-bearer is contesting for a different position.
“What is the need of cooling off period when a person is not contesting for the same post?” asked CJI Dipak Misra.
“The Lodha panel suggestion was that there should be a cooling off period between two consecutive terms for an office-bearer. After a tenure in a particular post of BCCI, the office-bearer may contest for some another post. There is no need for a cooling off period in between,” observed Justice D Y Chandrachud.
It was acting secretary Amitabh and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry, who had worked alongside member units, to raise the objectionable clauses in Lodha Reforms, taking inputs from them.
“We have to wait for the final order but I think there is a ray of hope for us that things will be in order. The Honourable court heard all our arguments on the objectionable clauses and we are grateful for that,” Chaudhary said.
Asked whether the clause on cooling off period and the age-cap of 70 years would be done away with, Chaudhary, who has of late been at loggerheads with the Committee of Administrators, sarcastically said: “Why don’t you ask the COA as to what they think about today’s observations?”
In the draft constitution submitted to the court, the eligibility for becoming a national selector has been set at 20 first-class matches.
If accepted, it would mean Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda, who were removed from the senior selection panel, might come back. They had been removed for not being Test cricketers
Jatin and Gagan have been paid their salary without any work as selectors can only be removed at the AGM.
In case the whole panel is removed at the AGM, they won’t make a comeback.
The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from BCCI on controversial cricketer S Sreesanth’s plea challenging the life ban imposed on him by the apex cricket body.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India and two office bearers of its Committee of Administrators (CoA) to file their responses within four weeks.
The court, however, refused to grant any interim relief sought by senior advocate Salman Khurshid, representing the cricketer, that he may be allowed to play.
Sreesanth, who had been absolved in the IPL spot-fixing case, was successful when he filed a plea before the single judge bench of the Kerala High Court challenging the life ban imposed on him by BCCI.
However, the division bench of the high court had set aside the single judge bench and upheld the ban.
The cricketer has now challenged the high court verdict in the apex court.
The Supreme Court has made it clear that Justice R M Lodha committee, which had recommended a slew of structural reforms in the BCCI, should not entertain any representation unless it is referred to by the top court.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said this after counsel appearing for the Lodha panel, which also comprises former apex court judges Ashok Bhan and R V Raveendran, sought a clarification on whether they should deal with the grievances in “respect of certain matters”.
“In our considered opinion and keeping in view the order dated January 2, Justice Lodha Committee may not entertain any further representation unless it is referred by this court,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.
The top court had on January 2 this year said that a committee of administrators (CoA) shall supervise the administration of BCCI through its chief executive officer.
It had further said “the role of the Justice R M Lodha committee shall hereafter be confined to overall policy and direction on such matters as may be referred by this court”.
The apex court had later declared the names of members of the CoA, which was headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai, to run the affairs of BCCI and implement the court-approved recommendations of the Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body.
Lodha panel was formed in January 2015 in the wake of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee report that called for reforms within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Mudgal panel had gone into state of affairs of the BCCI following the 2013 IPL betting and spot-fixing charges.
The court had in its July 18 last year verdict accepted most of the recommendations of the Lodha committee to reform the BCCI following charges of large-scale maladministration in the cash-rich cricket body.
It had approved Lodha panel recommendations such as one- state, one-vote, one member-one post and fixing an age-cap of 70 years on those occupying BCCI posts.
The Supreme Court today refused to direct the BCCI to conduct e-auctioning for awarding media rights relating to the Indian Premier League matches.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chadrachud did not consider the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy that the ongoing tendering process for awarding media rights for the IPL events be stayed and e-auctioning directed.
The IPL matches are scheduled to start in April next year.
Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for the Committee of Administrators (COA), said that the ongoing tender process was a better option as all the bidders put their best bid in a sealed envelope to get the media rights.
Swamy, howwever, said he wanted to file an interim application highlighting alleged collusion and conflict of interest on behalf of a BCCI funtionary who also runs a news channel. This plea was allowed by the top court.
The apex court had earlier asked COA chief Vinod Rai to file an affidavit specifying how the ongoing tender process was better than the e-auction.
The Supreme Court had on July 28 sought the response of BCCI on Swamy’s plea that e-auction of the media rights should be done to ensure transparency as the rights are to be given for the next five years.
The apex court had last month told the BJP leader that it would think over his plea to accord urgent hearing in the case after Swamy referred to the apex court verdicts to buttress his point that it has been held that auctioning was the best method of awarding contracts.
He had said that the amount involved in the award of IPL media rights was to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore and the issue should not be decided in an “opaque” manner.
“This petition prays that the distribution of IPL rights, which is scheduled on July 17, 2017 should be done in the most transparent mode available, that is via E-Auction,” his petition had said.
It had alleged that all the activities of Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) were undertaken with “tacit concurrence” of the state governments and the Centre “who are not only fully aware but supportive of the activities of the Board.”
“It is a requirement that non-discriminatory and transparent method with the best international practices must be adopted for distribution of the valuable media rights so as to ensure the maximum revenue in the larger national interest,” Swamy’s plea had said.
He had alleged that there was a consistent attempt by vested interests to try and build a monopoly by getting the valuable rights in a non-transparent manner.
“Huge money is involved amounting to Rs 25000 30000 crore in the valuable rights associated with the game of cricket in India which makes it mandatory to have the auction process robust, completely transparent, in order to maximise revenue and prevent vested interests from making undue gains,” Swamy had claimed.
Historian Ramachandra Guha, appointed by the Supreme Court as one of the four administrators of BCCI, today informed the court that he had resigned from the post due to personal reasons.
A vacation bench of Justices M M Shantanagoudar and Deepak Gupta was informed by Guha’s counsel that he had tendered his resignation on May 28 to Vinod Rai, Chairman of the Committee of Administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
The court said a special bench was seized of the matter and the petition should therefore be filed in the registry.
Advocate Rakesh Sinha, who mentioned the matter before the bench, said he had filed the petition to inform the court about Guha’s decision to resign as the main matter would be coming up for hearing in July.
The apex court had on January 30 appointed a four-member committee of administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai to run the affairs of BCCI and implement court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body.
Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji were the other administrators appointed by the Supreme Court.
The Kerala High Court today issued notice to the BCCI on a plea filed by tainted Indian cricketer S Sreesanth, challenging the life ban imposed on him by the disciplinary committee of the cricket body.
Admitting the petition by the player, seeking a direction to BCCI to allow him to play for a Scottish club in April, Justice P V Asha directed the Union government and the BCCI to file their counter affidavits.
Sreesanth had submitted that even the trial court which heard the match-fixing case observed that “no prima facie case in any offence, including Section 3 of MCOCA, is made out against the accused persons and they are entitled to be discharged.”
All the 36 accused, including Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were discharged in the IPL-6 spot-fixing case by Patiala House Court in July 2015.
The BCCI, however, refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.
In his petition, Sreesanth argued that the BCCI panel which enquired into the matter had made its reports against him based on the information provided by Delhi Police.
He alleged that “the entire prosecution case framed out by the Delhi Police Special Cell” against him was based on a “cooked-up story created according to their aspirations and imaginations”.
Sreesanth said he was invited by Glenrothes Cricket Club, Fife Scotland, for representing Glenroth Team (Premier League in Scotland) to be held in the first week of April.
In response to this invitation, he expressed willingness to participate in the match, provided he got the NOC from the Board, Sreesanth said in his petition.
Tainted Indian cricketer S Sreesanth today filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking its direction to the BCCI to allow him to play for a Scottish club in April.
In his petition, Sreesanth, challenging the life ban imposed on him by the disciplinary committee of the BCCI, said even the trial court which heard the match-fixing case has observed that “no prima facie case in any offence including Section 3 of MCOCA is made out against the accused persons and they are entitled to be discharged.”
All the 36 accused, including Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, were discharged in the IPL-6 spot fixing case by Patiala House Court in July 2015.
The BCCI, however, refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict.
In his petition, Sreesanth argued that the BCCI panel which inquired the matter had made its reports against him based on the information provided by the Delhi Police.
He alleged that “the entire prosecution case framed out by the Delhi Police Special Cell” against him was based on a “cooked-up story created according to their aspirations and imaginations…”
Sreesanth said he was invited by the Glenrothes Cricket Club, Fife Scotland for representing Gelnroth Team (Premier League in Scotland) to be held in the first week of April.
In response to this invitation, he expressed his willingness to participate in the match provided he got the NOC from the Board, Sreesanth said.
The Supreme Court would today hear a plea seeking that three persons, authorised by it, be allowed to take part in the crucial ICC meeting commencing from February 2.
The apex court had authorised three persons, Vikram Limaye, Amitabh Chaudhury and Anirudh Chaudhury, to represent BCCI in the meeting.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, said that out of three authorised persons, only Limaye has been asked to attend the meeting and this is against the order passed by the court.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that it would hear the matter at 2 PM.
The Justice R M Lodha panel and amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam informed the court that a request has been made to the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar that all the three representatives be accommodated in the meeting.
He said that as per the ICC rules only one member of a cricket board can represent the body in the meeting.
The Supreme Court today termed as “lowest point in the history” of the apex court last week’s incident in which a senior advocate had used an unparliamentary word while assailing the verdict in the BCCI matter.
“I am sorry but this reflected the lowest point in the history of modern Supreme Court. I am pained,” Justice D Y Chandrachud, who was part of the three-judge bench, said.
The observation came when senior advocate Vikas Singh said it was “slip of the tongue” and he has apologised before anybody could notice it.
However, the bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra, said, “Decorum of the court should not be spoilt”.
The bench said it was pained as an allegation or assertion was made without any substance that they do not want to hear him. “It is not done. It is not proper to say that we don’t want to hear anybody,” the bench said.
At this stage, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said “cases come and go, but dignity should be there”.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said he was apologising on behalf of the bar.
During the hearing on January 20 in the case, the court had witnessed a piquant situation when the senior advocate used an unparliamentary word while assailing the verdict, evoking a sharp reaction from the bench which not only reprimanded him but barred him from advancing arguments on that day.