Supreme Court accepts Lodha panel recommendations, bars ministers from becoming BCCI members

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The Supreme Court on Monday accepted the major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms to the BCCI, including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members. It, however, left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under the RTI and betting on the game should be legalised. The court accepted the recommendations of the committee headed by retired Chief Justice of India Justice R M Lodha to have a CAG nominee in the BCCI. A Bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla rejected the BCCI’s objection against recommendation of one-State-one-vote. It said that States like Maharashtra and Gujarat that have more than one cricket association will have voting rights on a rotational basis. It accepted the recommendation that there should be a players association in the BCCI and the funding of players’ association accepted while leaving it to the Board to decide the extent of funding. The Bench accepted the recommendation that one person should hold one post in cricket administration to avoid any conflict of interest and scrapping of all other administrative committees in the BCCI after the CAG nominee comes in. The court, however, left it to Parliament to decide whether the functioning of the BCCI can be brought under RTI as recommended by the Lodha panel and whether to legalise betting in cricket or not. It left it to the Board to decide whether there is need for any change in the existing agreement relating to broadcasting rights and whether a franchise member should be in the Board to avoid any conflict of interest.
The Bench requested the three-member panel, also comprising former apex court judges Ashok Bhan and R V Raveendran to oversee the transition of administrative structure in the BCCI which has to take place within six months. The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee, on January 4, recommended sweeping reforms and an administrative shake-up at the troubled BCCI, suggesting that ministers be barred from occupying positions, a cap put on the age and tenure of the office-bearers and legalising betting. Some of the State cricket associations, former players Kirti Azad, Bishen Singh Bedi and cricket administrators also approached the apex court with regard to the implementation of Lodha panel recommendations.

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