Politi­cians Only in Ad­vi­sory Role, In­sists SC

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Sa­man­waya.Rau­tray @times­group.com

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wed­nes­day sug­gested that the cricket board have a spe­cial ad­vi­sory body com­pris­ing min­is­ters and politi­cians, but keep them out of the elected body man­ag­ing the sport.

Ques­tion­ing the board’s op­po­si­tion to the Lodha panel’s sug­ges­tion for bar­ring politi­cians from con­test­ing for the sports body, a bench com­pris­ing Chief Jus­tice TS Thakur and Jus­tice FMI Kal­i­ful­lah asked whether this was due to the fear that the gov­ern­ment may take over its ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“It is a not a happy sit­u­a­tion…where the sys­tem can­not work with­out po­lit­i­cal clout for car­ry­ing out a le­git­i­mate crick­et­ing ac­tiv­ity,” Jus­tice Thakur said. In that case, the CJI sug­gested, the board should not be averse to be­ing taken over by the gov­ern­ment through a par­lia­men­tary en­act­ment. “You are dis­charg­ing pub­lic func­tions. Why can’t the func­tions be car­ried out by the gov­ern­ment,” he asked.

The court’s ob­ser­va­tions came as the cricket board dug in its heels over the Lodha panel sug­ges­tions to elim­i­nate se­ri­ous con­flict of in­ter­est is­sues which have plagued the game in re­cent years and sur­faced in the form of malaises such as match fix­ing and spot fix­ing. The Lodha panel ap­pointed by the court to look into the af­fairs of the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia (BCCI) had, among other things, also sug­gested fix­ing an age limit of 70 for its of­fice bear­ers and a one-state-as­so­ci­a­tion, one-vote rule.

On Wed­nes­day, the bench ex­pressed its dis­plea­sure over the man­ner in which BCCI lav­ished funds on some state as­so­ci­a­tions while ig­nor­ing oth­ers. BCCI had over the years ig­nored 11 states, par­tic­u­larly Bi­har, Ch­hat­tis­garh and the north­east­ern states, while hand­ing out .₹ 60 crore to Goa in a year, the CJI said. The Mum­bai Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion urged the court not to bar min­is­ters and politi­cians from con­test­ing BCCI elec­tions. Both MCA and the Bar­oda Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion ar­gued that the BCCI could only be reg­u­lated as a so­ci­ety and its func­tions can­not be taken over by the gov­ern­ment.

Ar­gu­ments will con­tinue on Mon­day.

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