The implementation of the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations in the functioning of the BCCI has run into several minor hurdles and confusions as far as the ground realities are concerned.
Issues that came up for discussion were regarding Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and the National Cricket Club of Kolkata. Their counsel argued that while it was said that the state associations would not be touched just now, but with certain specific issues yet to be resolved, adverse impacts were being felt.
The overall structure of the BCCI isn’t homogenous. Its affiliates operate under different laws. While arguing the case for his clients at the court of Justices Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, the counsel on March 24 said: “The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association is a company, registered under Section 25. We have a proper procedure for the decisions that are taken there.
“Tomorrow (March 25) there is a match between India and Australia at Dharamshala. Normally they (the BCCI) pay the money through an independent contractor for the infrastructure that we provide for matches. But now they want us to give an undertaking that we will have to amend our constitution. We cannot amend the constitution right now. For tomorrow’s match they are contractually bound to pay us Rs 2.5 crore.”
The counsel for the administrative committee pointed out that money wasn’t really a problem with Himachal. The counsel said: “Himachal is sitting on Rs 90 crore.”
To which the counsel for Himachal replied: “There are two points. First, this is not a grant that we want from them. This is my (Himachal’s) money with them. Secondly, it doesn’t matter if we are competent or not (an issue that crops up when the constitutional amendment comes up), they are contractually bound to pay the money.”
That needed solving, but other issues came up too. Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Railways, Universities and Armed Forces said: “We are here for 50 years, we should have three votes. One more grievance is that no government servant can hold the office in the cricket board, but how is it possible that Railways is headed by secretary of railways?”
The issues have been postponed for now.
—India Legal Bureau