NEW DELHI: BCCI officials who have for long been resisting the one-state-one-vote and cooling-off period recommendations in the Justice Lodha committee report may finally have reasons to smile. In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Thursday hinted that some of the recommendations of the Lodha committee, specifically clauses relating to the ‘one-state-one-vote’ and ‘cooling-off’ period stipulations, might be eased or remain open to modification while drafting the BCCI’s new constitution.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud also reserved its order on the finalization of BCCI’s draft constitution and restrained all state cricket bodies from holding elections till the new constitution is adopted.
The bench said that the cooling-off period does not seem necessary if the office-bearer is contesting for a different position, a move sure to come as a boost for officials who have been at loggerheads with the COA over the issue.
On the ‘one-state-one vote’ policy, the bench said, “No state should be deprived of their voting rights in cricket administration but there are age-old associations which have contributed to the growth of cricket in the country and they should also not be deprived.”
The apex court also said it would examine whether the number of selectors in BCCI should be increased and also fix the qualification needed for appointment as a selector. The bench also asked high courts not to entertain any plea on the appointment of administrators to state cricket bodies.
The apex court had on July 18, 2016 ordered a comprehensive revamp of BCCI on the recommendations of the Lodha Committee. It had passed a slew of directions to bring administrative reforms in cricket administration by barring ministers and bureaucrats from holding positions in the board and stipulating an age limit of 70 years for office-bearers. It had also directed implementation of the ‘one-stateone-vote’ principle and cooling-off periods.
Various state cricket associations have urged the court to do away with the recommendations, saying these would not be good for cricket administration. Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for Maharashtra and Gujarat cricket associations, said politicians should be allowed to hold office in cricket bodies and there was no need for age restrictions.
“The court would do a serious injustice to people if they are not allowed to use their expertise and experience in cricket administration just because they are holding public office,” the ASG submitted.