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August 10, 2018
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Why in news?

  • Supreme Court has approved a new draft constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), making few alterations to Lodha Committee recommendations.
  • Click here to know more on the recommendations

What are the highlights of the verdict?

  • Representation - Lodha panel's call for “one state, one vote” was to ensure representation for every state in the BCCI.
  • It had also asked for only one association from each state to be considered a full member and have voting rights.
  • The Supreme Court has rejected this recommendation.
  • The court disagreed that cricket could prosper only if the BCCI was represented by every State and Union Territory.
  • The court noted that territoriality as a basis of exclusion would be problematic.
  • As, this would ignore cricketing culture in some state, the history and contributions by such associations to cricket's prosperity.
  • Instead, the court restored full BCCI memberships to three associations in Gujarat and Maharashtra each.
  • Cooling-off period - Lodha panel report makes officer-bearers either at state or BCCI level not eligible to contest for a succeeding election.
  • They would have to serve a three-year cooling period following each term.
  • The BCCI objected to this stating office-bearers needed a form of continuity to apply the knowledge and experience.
  • This is essential to strengthen the administration of the game as well as to strengthen the BCCI’s role in the ICC.
  • The Court has found a middle ground, balancing the two views.
  • It allows all office-bearers to serve two consecutive terms (six years) before they serve a necessary cooling-off period.
  • Nevertheless, it sticks to the maximum cumulative term of nine years.
  • These include terms at both state and BCCI level, and/or a combination of both.
  • Notably, all the present office-bearers have served 9 or more years.
  • Membership - SC agreed with BCCI's view in giving full membership status for Services Sports Control Board, Railways and Association of Universities.
  • There is a concern that the ruling power has control over these institutional votes.
  • So Lodha panel had recommended stripping them of full membership to end government influence on BCCI’s functioning.
  • BCCI however argued against this saying that the Railways had employed more cricketers than any other institution.
  • Apex council - The court upheld the panel's recommendation of an “apex council” to professionally manage the BCCI.
  • The council would consist of a Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and other officers.
  • These must be recruited on a transparent and professional basis.
  • It will, for the first time, have well-rounded representation, including players and women cricketers.
  • The new structure will allow employed professionals to execute the decisions made by the Apex Council, making the BCCI functioning more professional.
  • Selectors - The court modified the number of selectors from the current three to five.
  • It observed that a “broad-based selection committee” was required to tap the talent pool spread across the country.
  • Besides, SC retained the Lodha panel suggestion of barring government ministers or servants from holding cricket office.

 

Source: The Hindu, Indian Express

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