Anxious wait for BCCI continues

However, the BCCI had approached the Supreme Court in December 2019 seeking its approval to make a few changes to the constitution.
Board of Control for Cricket in India. (File | PTI)
Board of Control for Cricket in India. (File | PTI)

CHENNAI: The waiting game continues for the office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). On a day when the Supreme Court said that their plea to make amendments to the constitution will be heard by a new bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, the BCCI is caught in a limbo. There are a few things that need to be seen and adjusted.

The feeling within the BCCI is not too upbeat either. Since the matter is referred to a new three-member bench, officials felt it might be difficult to overturn an order by a Chief Justice of India. Justice Chandrachud, who had been part of the two earlier orders of the BCCI, will now head the special bench.

In January 2017, Chandrachud was part of a three-member bench that included then CJI TS Thakur and Justice AM Khanwilkar who removed Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke as BCCI president and secretary for failing to implement the reforms. And on January 30, 2017, Chandrachud was also part of the bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra which appointed the Committee of Administrators to run the BCCI.

One primary concern for BCCI right now is about hosting the Annual General Meeting that must be completed by September. Since the dates for the next hearing is yet to be announced, there is a growing uncertainty within the BCCI whether to go ahead with it or not.For the record, one of the pleas from the BCCI is to change the cooling-off period clause where the number of years in state and the board has to be treated separately and not as cumulative.

If one goes by Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations — which is the existing constitution and made binding by the Supreme Court in 2016 — the tenure of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah are already over. According to the constitution, the duo who took charge on October 24, 2019, were supposed to demit office by July 2020 and August 2020 respectively as their cumulative term (state and BCCI) of six years was complete.

However, the BCCI had approached the Supreme Court in December 2019 seeking its approval to make a few changes to the constitution. According to the BCCI, since the plea has not been come up for hearing, Ganguly and Shah are continuing in office. Their first term in the BCCI comes to an end on October 23, 2022, but as per the Board’s constitution it has to hold the annual general body meeting in September.

The BCCI was hoping that the apex court will hear their plea to amend the constitution which includes: cooling-off period, disqualification criteria, curbing the CEO’s power and conflict of interest. Even after approaching the court in July, it seems the wait might get a little longer.

According to officials, the BCCI is left with two options now. One is to wait for the hearing to take place and hope the SC allows them to make changes to the constitution, which will allow Ganguly and Shah to continue for a second consecutive term. Or call for an AGM and elect new office-bearers.

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The New Indian Express