NEW DELHI: Emphasising the fact that the idea behind the inclusion of a cooling-off period was to ensure that vested interests are not allowed to grow, the Supreme Court on Tuesday suggested tweaking the clause in the BCCI constitution.
With the BCCI putting forth a strong case for the clause to be modified, the apex court may waive off the cooling-off period.
“A 12-year period without cooling-off is too long. What we can say is the cooling-off period kicks in after two terms and what we’re suggesting is if you’ve held one term in state association and one term in BCCI, then cooling off doesn’t kick in. But if you hold two terms in a state association or in BCCI then the cooling-off period kicks in,” Justice DY Chandrachud said while hearing BCCI’s plea seeking an amendment to its constitution.
As per BCCI’s existing Constitution, all the office-bearers would have to go through a cooling-off period of three years after they complete two consecutive terms of three years each. This is currently applicable to state associations or the BCCI or a combination of both. The BCCI wants state and BCCI terms should be treated separately.
Deferring the matter for Wednesday afternoon to pass interim orders, the bench asked amicus curiae and senior advocate Maninder Singh to sit with the stakeholders, prepare a draft and present it before the bench.
In the proposed amendment, BCCI has sought for the abolition of the cooling-off period for its office-bearer's secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly so that they can continue despite completing six years in their respective state associations.
Adding that the country could not lose the experience of individuals, Solicitor General said that such changes were suggested after the unanimous resolution passed by the general body of the BCCI. The SG also submitted that the BCCI proposed to remove the age cap of 70 years for those representing the board at the ICC.
“We want this 70 years age to go as far as representation to the ICC is concerned as negotiations have to be done. I’ll be dealing with veterans who know each other for 30-40 years. In ICC it’s not negotiations or discussions but it's all liaising, it’s all who’s more powerful, who has contacts, who has friends,” SG said.
Taking exception to SG’s proposal for removing the age cap of 70 years, Justice Chandrachud said, “Let the younger people represent us at the ICC. Let people after 70 give way to the younger generations. There’s enough time to do all that till 70. We have AG. There are fantastic lawyers & doctors after 70 but this is sports. Don’t tell us that Cricket Australia, ECB have people above 70 in the ICC.”