Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur on Monday filed an affidavit before a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur and denied that he has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene in Lodha Panel recommendations.
Thakur made contact with the governing body of the sport with regards to the inclusion of a Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) member in the newly-formed apex council of the BCCI. According to ICC regulations, national boards must not have government interference in its administrative body. A transgression in this regard could lead to de-recognition of member boards.
The 41-year-old, in his affidavit, said he met ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in a governance review committee meeting, but denied asking the latter to say that the Lodha reforms would amount to government interference.
"In this context it is respectfully submitted that there was an ICC governance review committee meeting scheduled to be held in Dubai on August 6 and 7. There were certain issues relating to financial model for which my inputs were required and as such I was invited by the ICC for the said meeting.
During the meeting with regard to the review of constitutional provisions of ICC, I pointed out to the chairman of ICC, Shashank Manohar that when he was the President of BCCI, he had taken a view that the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee appointing the nominee of the CAG on the Apex Council would amount to government interference and might invoke an action of suspension from ICC. I, therefore, requested him that he being the ICC Chairman, he can issue a letter clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President." Thakur said in an affidavit.
Thakur further informed that Manohar had then explained that when the stand was taken, the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and had not been decided.
"However on 18.07.2016 this Hon'ble Court delivered its judgement in the matter. In the said judgment, this Hon'ble Court has rejected the submission that the appointment of the nominee of CAG on Apex council would amount to Governmental interference and had also held that ICC would appreciate the appointment as it would bring in the finances of the board," he added.
Earlier, the top court barred the BCCI from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until they give an unconditional undertaking that they will comply with the organisational reforms as recommended by the Justice RM Lodha Committee.
Pronouncing the order, the Supreme Court had said that the state associations would not get funds unless a resolution is passed to implement justice Lodha committee reforms.
During its October 6 hearing, the three-member judge had dismissed BCCI's response to the status report filed by the Lodha committee following the board's failure to meet an important deadline with respect to the implementation of a Memorandum of Associations (MoA), as necessitated by the timelines framed by the Lodha committee.
Justice T. S Thakur had criticised the BCCI for transferring Rs. 400 crore overnight to its state associations which was against the Lodha panel's recommendations.
Earlier this month, the Lodha committee had submitted its status report with the Supreme Court, accusing the BCCI of defying the apex court's orders and stalling its proposed reforms. It also recommended the ouster of the entire top brass of the cash-rich cricket body.
In its report, the apex court-appointed panel had stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country's cricket governing body.
The move came after the BCCI appointed a five-member selection committee during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on September 21, which was in violation to the Lodha panel's guidelines.
In its October 1 Special General Meeting (SGM), the BCCI had accepted many of the "significant recommendations" of the Lodha Committee, however, it excluded the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.
The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.
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