The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has barred three state associations – Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Maharashtra – from attending/voting at the BCCI’s October 23 general body meeting for their ‘non-compliance’ to Lodha reforms. The disqualification notices have been sent to the respective state associations. Copies of the letters have been forwarded to the BCCI’s electoral officer N Gopalaswami, who will take the final call on representation. The final list of representation is expected on Thursday.
“The letter we have received from the CoA has been sent to the electoral officer, recommending this action (disqualification). Tomorrow is the date when the electoral officer will decide the final list. Only after that we will take a call about moving court, if we are not allowed. We have already forwarded the letter to our legal team,” the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) secretary R Ramasaamy told The Indian Express.
The TNCA’s amended constitution is not in sync with the Lodha Committee recommendations (BCCI constitution) basically on two points. The state association has elected two vice-presidents instead of one. Also, the TNCA constitution has limited the restrictions like tenure cap, cooling-off etc. only to the office-bearers.
“Our stand is that each association has got a different setup. And our understanding is that the Supreme Court has accordingly allowed people to make small changes. So based on that we have two vice-presidents, because our district setup is very strong and we wanted a representation for them. The other thing is that the Supreme Court in its September 20 order stated that disqualification should be confined only to the office-bearers,” Ramasaamy said.
However, the CoA’s interpretation is that the apex court’s September 20 order is applicable only to the state associations, with regards to their elections/AGMs, while the court’s August 9, 2018 judgment and its approval of the BCCI constitution, the clauses therein, remain in full force.
Accordingly, ‘non-compliant’ states are ineligible to attend the BCCI election. The CoA had earlier sent notices to the three associations, citing ‘non-compliance’ in their amended constitutions, which could potentially debar them from attending the BCCI AGM.
The TNCA responded to it, saying: “Since the said issue is sub-judice, all the associations shall be allowed to participate and the issue of legality of their participation shall be decided on the basis of the final orders passed by the Supreme Court in the matter.”
Asked, if the CoA has the authority to debar a state association from attending the BCCI general body meeting, a Committee member said: “They (the three associations) are non-compliant by our standards; on some major points. If 32 states have followed the CoA advisory, then there’s no reason why two-three of them don’t. It’s as simple as that.”
The Haryana Cricket Association (HCA), too, is mulling legal options. “We are compliant. Also, every BCCI member has a right to sit and vote at the BCCI general body meeting. The CoA can’t take away that right. Now, it’s up to our legal team to decide our future course of action,” an HCA official said.
As far as the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) is concerned, according to a former state association official, the MCA constitution doesn’t provide for direct elections to the office-bearers’ posts. First, it appoints the Apex Council, which in turn appoints the office-bearers. This is contrary to the Lodha Committee recommendations and the BCCI constitution. According to him, the three state associations now “will have to move court”.
Meanwhile, former IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla on Wednesday deposed before the BCCI’s electoral officer after his representation at the cricket board’s general body meeting on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) was challenged by Sanjeev Gupta, a life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. According to Gupta, Shukla continued to hold the post of the IPL chairman till August 21, 2018. So he needs to serve a cooling-off period till August 20, 2021. Two Uttar Pradesh members, too, have complained against Shukla of him holding post in another sports body.
In its July 29 advisory, the CoA, “in concurrence with the BCCI’s electoral officer”, directed the member associations to ensure that their representatives to the BCCI “should not be disqualified to become an office-bearer of the BCCI or a Councillor in terms of the BCCI constitution”. The electoral officer’s decision is expected tomorrow.
CoA member for ICC meeting?
The ICC’s upcoming Board meetings in Dubai from October 12 to 14 might see a CoA member represent the BCCI instead of its acting secretary Amitabh Choudhury. According to sources, the CoA chairman, Rai, wants one of his colleagues, Lt Gen Ravi Thodge or Diana Edulji, to attend the meeting in place of Choudhury, as the latter didn’t turn up for the ICC Full Council in London in July. He also missed the Asian Cricket Council AGM in Bangkok last month. The CoA had show-caused Choudhury, who cited health reasons for his absence. The CoA was said to be not satisfied with Choudhury’s reply. The BCCI acting-secretary, however, represents India as a director at the ICC Board. Also, the Supreme Court’s April 17, 2017 order authorised him to attend the ICC meetings.