Background: The formation of the Lodha Committee
- The committee headed by justice (retd) RM Lodha was appointed by the apex court in 2015 in the wake of a sport-fixing scandal in IPL, the biggest crisis to hit the cash-rich sports body in the country.
- The three-member panel submitted its report on the functioning of the BCCI to the SC on January 4, 2016.
Key recommendations of the Lodha Committee:
- Governing Bodies: They should be separate for IPL and BCCI, with limited autonomy for the IPL governing council.
- BCCI Office Bearers: No minister or government servant should become a BCCI office bearer.
- BCCI Office Bearer’s tenure: It should not exceed more than two consecutive terms, and he/she can’t hold two posts at the same time.
- Membership: Only to the team representing the respective states. Each state should have only one vote.
- Zones: The relevance of different zones should be for the purpose of tournaments and not for the governance of BCCI and its commitments.
- State Associations: There should be uniformity of structure in the organisation and functioning of the state associations on the lines of BCCI.
- Management: The BCCI management affairs should be done by professionals led by the CEO.
- Player Associations: It should be formed for the international as well as for the first class levels. It should be for both men and women teams.
- Betting and Match Fixing: Betting should be legalised and match-fixing should be made criminal offence.
- The Electoral Officer and Ombudsman: The election officer will see the election process, while the ombudsman to resolve grievances.
- Functioning and Transparency: All details and rules of BCCI must be uploaded on the website of BCCI for transparency and functioning process. BCCI should come under the purview of Right to Information Act, 2005.
- Supervision of Expenses: It should be carried out by an independent officer.
Following the submission of the report, the SC asked the BCCI members to implement all the recommendations of the Lodha panel. The SC set March 3, 2016 as the deadline for the same.
On July 18th 2016, after several hearings and counter-affidavits filed by the BCCI, the SC upheld almost all the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel and gave a time period of 6 month to the BCCI to implement all the reforms.
Within a month, on August 16th 2016, the BCCI filed a review petition against the July 18th verdict of the SC. BCCI approached a retired senior SC judge Markandey Katju for his legal advice, who in his interim report opined the verdict to be smacked of judicial overreach. He added that the verdict amounted to “judicial legislation” and violated the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act and the Indian Constitution.
Post-this, the BCCI not only dragged its feet in implementing the reforms but also defied the Lodha panel recommendations on various occasions.
On January 2 2017, the SC stripped BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke of their posts and ordered them to “forthwith cease and desist” from associating themselves with the BCCI.
Following this, the SC, on January 30 2017, appointed a four-member Committee of Administrators (CoAs) headed by former CAG of India Vinod Rai to run the affairs of the BCCI and implement court-approved recommendations of the Lodha Committee.
Other three members of the committee of administrators are famous cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji, who would interact with Rahul Johri, CEO of BCCI, for supervision and functioning of the cricket Board.
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