The Supreme Court will today pronounce its order on the issue of implementation of Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations on massive structural reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla had reserved its verdict on June 30 after a marathon session of over a dozen hearings. During the hearing, which started in March this year, BCCI had been averse to some of the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha led-panel and had objected to suggestions like one state-one vote, age and tenure cap on office-bearers and Comptroller and auditor general of India nominee on its board. The apex court-appointed Lodha Committee had 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 in BCCI. The three-member panel, also comprising former apex court judges Ashok Bhan and R V Raveendran, had suggested that one unit should represent only one state, while taking away the voting rights of institutional and city-based units. It suggested restructuring of the BCCI's administrative set-up and proposed a CEO to run daily affairs of the board who will be accountable to a nine-member apex council. Among the most sensational suggestions of the Lodha panel was the one on legalising betting.
It felt that the move would help curb corruption in the game and recommended that except for players and officials, people should be allowed to place bets on registered websites.Among other steps, the panel said that to ensure transparency in BCCI's functioning, it was important to bring the body under the purview of the RTI Act, something that the board has vehemently opposed in the past citing autonomy.