Do not be­have like lords, fall in line, SC tells BCCI In sui­cide note, of­fi­cer blames CBI ‘tor­ture’ for fam­ily’s ex­treme step SUI­CIDE WAS THE ONLY OP­TION LEFT FOR BANSALS, SAYS DO­MES­TIC HELP

TOUGH TALK Lodha panel says board stalling re­forms, wants top brass re­moved

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Bhadra Sinha let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A livid Supreme Court told the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) on Wednes­day to fall in line and stop de­fy­ing its or­ders.

The top court was re­act­ing to a sta­tus re­port sub­mit­ted by the RM Lodha com­mit­tee that sought the ouster of the board’s top brass, in­clud­ing pres­i­dent Anurag Thakur.

“You [BCCI] are not a law unto your­self… You are be­hav­ing like lords. Fall in line, oth­er­wise we will make you fall in line,” the court warned, giv­ing the board time till Oc­to­ber 6 to re­spond.

The board, at its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing on Septem­ber 21, flouted the panel’s guide­lines in sev­eral de­ci­sions, in­clud­ing the for­ma­tion of a new team se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

The Lodha panel coun­sel, Gopal Sankara­narayanan, com­plained that the BCCI was openly de­fy­ing the court and failed to im­ple­ment re­forms de­spite a Septem­ber 30 dead­line to com­ply with the di­rec­tives.

The court formed the panel af­ter the 2013 IPL spot-fix­ing scan­dal. Headed by for­mer chief jus­tice RM Lodha, the panel sug­gested sev­eral changes in re­form­ing the world’s rich­est cricket body.

The top court cleared the rec­om­men­da­tions on July 18, and di­rected the BCCI to im­ple­ment them.

At the hear­ing on Wednes­day, the bench headed by Chief Jus­tice TS Thakur be­came livid when told of the BCCI’s stand.

“SC will not al­low BCCI to defy court or­ders. We will pass ap­pro­pri­ate or­ders to set you right,” the Chief Jus­tice said.

The BCCI will now meet on Septem­ber 29-30 to chalk the course of ac­tion. The board will be hold­ing an emer­gent spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing to con­sider the amend­ments to BCCI’s rules and reg­u­la­tions as rec­om­mended by the Lodha panel.

The BCCI’s best hope is in be­ing al­lowed to ex­er­cise the right to ex­haust all its le­gal reme­dies. It will at least buy some time. Given the SC’s stance, this game plan may not work too. “We will im­ple­ment all their rec­om­men­da­tions, but we have the right to ex­haust all our le­gal op­tions. The only point where we dif­fer (with the Supreme Court panel) is they want us to im­ple­ment in the least pos­si­ble time and we want to ex­er­cise all our le­gal reme­dies. If the re­view pe­ti­tion is dis­missed then we have the cu­ra­tive pe­ti­tion,” said a se­nior Board func­tionary.

For­mer bu­reau­crat BK Bansal and three mem­bers of his fam­ily were driven to sui­cide by the “men­tal and phys­i­cal tor­ture” in­flicted on them by the of­fi­cers of the Cen­tral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI), ac­cord­ing to two pur­ported sui­cide notes left by him and son Yo­gesh who were found dead in their East Delhi flat on Tues­day.

The prove­nance of the two notes re­mained un­clear. The po­lice said they found signed pho­to­copies of both — dated Septem­ber 26, the day be­fore Bansal and his son al­legedly killed them­selves — at the scene. The orig­i­nals are yet to turn up. A prom­i­nent wire ser­vice re­ceived sim­i­lar signed copies of the two pur­ported sui­cide notes via courier on Wednes­day; the en­ve­lope, sources said, bore the name of BK Bansal as sender. Copies of the two notes were cir­cu­lat­ing in me­dia houses and on so­cial me­dia through Wednes­day.

The notes name five CBI of­fi­cials for al­legedly driv­ing the Bansal fam­ily to sui­cide. (HT is with­hold­ing their names un­til the orig­i­nal notes are re­cov­ered and au­then­ti­cated af­ter due process.)

Bansal’s 58-year-old wife Satya Bala and 28-year-old daugh­ter Neha were found dead in the same rooms of the Madhu Vi­har flat on July 19, hav­ing hanged them­selves be­cause of what their pur­ported sui­cide notes called the hu­mil­i­a­tion of the CBI search af­ter Bansal’s ar­rest on July 16 in a bribery case.

Bansal and Yo­gesh were found hang­ing in the same rooms on Tues­day.

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