Has Supreme Court verdict diluted essence of Lodha reforms?

Updated: Sep 21, 2019, 07:46 IST | Harit N Joshi |

In such a scenario, a disqualified member can continue forever by being a councilor on the Apex Council, which can be between nine to 19 members

This picture has been used for representational purposes.
This picture has been used for representational purposes.

The Supreme Court yesterday may have diluted its earlier judgments [July 18, 2016 and August 9, 2018] by restricting the disqualification rule only to office-bearers of state cricket associations. Yesterday's hearing has naturally provided much-needed cheer among the state units, who are set to hold their elections by September 28.

Yesterday's judgment on disqualification read: "We direct that disqualification shall be confined only to those who had held the post of "Office Bearers" of the Cricket Associations. This order shall apply to all the States Cricket Association (s)."

In such a scenario, a disqualified member can continue forever by being a councilor on the Apex Council, which can be between nine to 19 members.

In the August 9 judgment, the apex court allowed office-bearers to hold office for six consecutive years instead of three as recommended by Justice Lodha Committee and accepted by the court in the July 18, 2016 verdict.

Even the cooling off period, which was mandatory after each term of three years, was extended to six years.

During yesterday's hearing in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's plea, the bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao allowed the association to, "hold elections to the post of Assistant Secretary."

New post created

Thus, a new post [Assistant Secretary], which is not prescribed under the Lodha Committee reforms, has been created. However, the court has said that the result of the TNCA elections, "shall be subject to the remedy available in law and the final order that may be passed by this Court".

State associations of the BCCI were up in arms after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Monday issued a fresh advisory on the 9+9 disqualification rule (nine years in a state association plus nine years in the BCCI).

The state units rushed to the Supreme Court to quash Point No. 10 of the CoA advisory which prevented any disqualified member from attending the AGM of the state association and disallowed from voting too.

However, going by the same yardstick, the ruling is not applicable to a life member or former international cricketer from the state even if they are disqualified.

Row over CoA advisory

"This is in line with the spirit of the cricket reforms accepted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court which requires only non-disqualified and eligible nominated/elected individuals to occupy positions of responsibility and functioning such as representatives to the BCCI and/or Member Associations," the CoA stated in the advisory.

A BCCI source said that a CoA member objected to the decision of issuing an advisory in the first place but it was overruled in Monday's meeting in New Delhi.

"A CoA member said that it is unfair to have different yardsticks for disqualified members as far as voting and attending general body meeting is concerned and there was no need to issue this advisory as the election process was going pretty much smoothly," the source told mid-day.

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