oppn parties BCCI Legal Panel: Only Advisory in Nature for the Board

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  • MS Dhoni decides to take a two-month break, will skip West Indies tour but will not retire
  • Phagu Chauhan is the new Governor of Bihar while Ramesh Bais has been appointed as that of Tripura
  • Governors: Anandiben Patel shifted from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh and Lalji Tandon from Bihar to Madhya Pradesh
  • Naga talks interlocutor RN Ravi appointed as Governor of Nagaland
  • Noted lawyer Jagdeep Dhankhar appointed as new Governor of West Bengal
  • 84 NDRF teams have been despatched to 23 states to tackle the flood situation
  • Three persons lynched in Bihar after being accused of cattle theft
  • Delhi police seize a consignment of 1500 kgs of heroin and busts a cartel of Afghanistan-Pakistan narcotics dealers with links to the Taliban
  • Supreme Court gives 9 more months to complete the Babri Masjid demolition case trial
  • Priyanka Gandhi not allowed to meet the families of the dead in the Sonabhadra firing, arrested
  • ICC inducts Sachin Tendulkar in [email protected]@@s Hall of Fame
  • Stock markets bleed for the second day. Sensex crashes 560 points
  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
Former Delhi CM and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies following a cardiac arrest. She was 81
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BCCI Legal Panel: Only Advisory in Nature for the Board

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
picture courtesy: currentaffairs.adda247.com

The BCCI still does not believe that it has to change its ways. Even after the Supreme Court has given its final order asking for implementation of the Lodha committee recommendations with some modifications, the Board is yearning for a fight. It has appointed a 4-member legal panel, to be headed by retired SC judge Markandey Katju, to study the order and advise it on its legal implications as well as to act as the single point contact with the Lodha committee. The Lodha committee, on its part, has been rumoured to have said that the BCCI-appointed legal panel has no locus standi before it and it will interact only with Board officials. That is as it should be. A legal panel appointed by the BCCI can advise its office bearers on the legalities and they can then appear before the Lodha committee. The panel itself has no official mandate to appear before the Lodha committee.

Further, the BCCI is just trying to prolong the inevitable. If it had felt the need for a legal luminary, or luminaries, to advise it, the time was when the case was being heard in the Supreme Court. The BCCI is rich enough to have appointed Katju and several other retired SC judges to advise its lawyers before they made submissions in court. In fact, it’s battery of lawyers included several legal ‘luminaries’. One is also sure that lawyers representing the BCCI must have consulted constitutional experts at each stage of the case and billed the BCCI fancy amounts for that. Hence, this latest BCCI panel is just a ruse to escalate matters and play for time. The BCCI mandarins are still thinking that its political-bureaucratic network will get it out of this mess (if fact, its former president and former political heavyweight Sharad Pawar is rumoured to have told them that he is “speaking to the highest authorities” in the matter). Katju himself has done little but to rubbish the apex court order without much legal basis. But he has to do that to please his employers. While accusing the SC of trying to gain popularity by assuming legislative functions in making the order, Katju himself is trying to get attention by advising the BCCI to approach the SC for a review of its order by a larger, or even a constitutional bench. His ground is that the SC cannot interfere in the matters of a private society. Katju has either not read the SC orders in detail or he has not understood it or he has deliberately tried to gloss over important sections of the order to please those who have hired him to advise them.

It is clear from the final order and the one before that (the one that led to the formation of the Lodha committee) that the apex court has a clear view on the matter. While recognizing that the BCCI is a private society, the court has repeatedly said that by virtue of performing many State functions, it cannot function as a closed club and is amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts. This was explicitly said by the court in the first order.

Once it is established that the BCCI is amenable to writ jurisdiction of High Courts and is performing functions which are public in nature despite being a private society, it no longer enjoys the same kind of immunity that other private societies do. It’s working and functions have to be transparent and accountable. It is handling enormous amounts of public funds and the public has a right to know how these funds are being put to use. It cannot function as a closed club. What Markandey Katju is saying about the Supreme Court decision on appointing the Lodha committee is obviously dictated more by the terms of reference of his appointment by the BCCI and less by legal wisdom. If BCCI had accepted the Lodha committee recommendations, there would have been no need for it to appoint a legal panel headed by Katju. But since it wants to further contest the Lodha committee, it wants Katju to pick holes in the SC judgment, which he is valiantly trying to do without much legal basis. There is one more angle to the issue. Katju is an outspoken person. He blogs regularly, is very active on social media, writes a few columns in both the print and digital media and calls press conferences at the drop of the hat. If he had felt the SC judgment on BCCI and the appointment of Lodha committee were bad in law or “unconstitutional” why did he not comment on the same till he was appointed to head the legal panel by the BCCI? Clearly, it is Katju’s brief to rubbish the judgment and the Lodha committee and he is doing it to only to be true to his job. One is sure that a larger bench, or even a constitutional bench, of the apex court will deliver the same judgment as has already been delivered by the Supreme Court.