SC must stop running BCCI

Deccan Herald Mar 14 2018, 10:17 IST

The recommendations made in yet another report submitted to the Supreme Court by the Committee of Administrators appointed by it to improve the administration of cricket in the country might look right and reasonable. But they again show a persistent flaw in the approach and methods to set matters right in an area which has received a lot of adverse attention and criticism in recent years. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which has managed cricket in India, has been the main target of that criticism. The BCCI oversaw cricket grow into the most popular game in the country in a few decades. Along with that came big money and attendant corruption. A number of administrative and financial decisions of the board came under scrutiny, and scandals and undesirable activities on the part of some who held positions in the body were reported and received public attention.

The solution to the problem was not for the Supreme Court to take over the responsibility of running the BCCI, but thats exactly what it did. The court dismissed the office-bearers of the BCCI and set up a committee to manage its affairs. That committee now consists of former Controller and Auditor-General Vinod Rai and former India womens cricket captain Diana Edulji and has submitted a series of reports to the court. The latest of them, submitted last week, has recommended holding of the BCCIs annual general meeting, election of new office-bearers and formation of a new IPL governing council. It has pointed out that the terms of the existing office-bearers have expired and so elections can be held without the formal adoption of a BCCI constitution. But it is not the merit of these recommendations but the locus standi and authority of the committee to make them that needs to be questioned first.

When there is a petition in the court against a body - government, public institution or a society, as the BCCI is - the response should not be to take over the functions of that body. The Supreme Court went beyond its own powers and acted wrongly to interfere in the working of a legally constituted body like the BCCI and to make its own arrangements to administer it. The BCCI was a body constituted according to the law of the land and it needs to be run according to its own rules and regulations. The appointment of the Lodha committee, actions on the basis of its recommendations and the setting up of the administrators committee and its functioning were all wrong ways of dealing with the BCCI. The court is unfortunately wasting on the BCCI and cricket a lot of its time, which may be better utilised.

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