New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it was performing a public duty and has to be “objective, transparent, fair and reasonable” in its functioning with “equal opportunity to all” as there are many youngsters aspiring to be like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
“You must bear that you are discharging public functions. You can’t say I don’t like Bihar Cricket Association or others and it is my choice to have Bihar or not. I will not associate Bihar,” said the bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla.
The bench yesterday appointed Gopal Subramaniam as the amicus curiae to assist the court in the hearing of the matter.
Telling BCCI that while taking shelter of Article 19(1)(C) (guaranteeing right to form associations or unions), the bench said that it also imposed obligations on it as it was discharging public functions.
Siding with BCCI
“If someone wants to have a career in cricket, there is no way that he can do so without being on the right side of the BCCI,” the bench said adding that, “There are many youngsters aspiring to be Dhoni and Kohli as there is a lot of glamour in
“No one can play cricket except under your control. You have a complete sway over the game. Because of your sway you are preventing the people where there is no cricket like in north-eastern states and even including Bihar from being a part of BCCI,” the court said mentioning that the BCCI while performing public functions can’t escape obligations. The court is hearing the BCCI and its affiliated state associations which are resisting some of the recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee advocating a “one state one vote” rule, ceiling on the tenure of the office bearers and presence of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) nominee with BCCI board.
Using undisputed position
“You are using your undisputed position to reject the people who want to play cricket. If you have the right to select team India, then you have to balance competing rights and obligations”, the bench told TNCA’s senior counsel Arvind Data who are opposing the “one state one vote” recommendation.