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BCCI to hold emergency SGM on October 15


21 Jun 2013
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The BCCI has called for a Special General Meeting (SGM) on October 15 in Delhi to discuss the interim order passed by the Supreme Court last week. The order had given the board and state associations to respond by October 17 whether they would "unconditionally" comply with the Lodha Committee's recommendations.

This week's SGM is the second such emergent meeting called by the BCCI in the last two weeks. At the last SGM, on October 1, the BCCI had decided to conditionally adopt some of the recommendations which further infuriated the court.

Consequently, the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court alerted the BCCI "not to precipitate" matters during the hearing last Friday. The court also asked the board to stop issuing funds to errant state associations which did not implement the recommendations.
Despite the pressing directive and the urgency sought from the court, both BCCI as well as most states associations continued to remain stoic and unaffected. Incidentally, the board's notice on the SGM only reached the state associations on Monday. Also, president Anurag Thakur and secretary
Ajay Shirke are currently in Cape Town attending ICC meetings from October 10 to 14.

Officials at both BCCI and state associations ESPNcricinfo spoke to pointed out that certain discrepancies between the July 18 court order passed by the court and the Lodha Committee report that was released on January 4. The board is likely to point out the same during the next hearing on October 17 when the court reconvenes after the Dussehra holidays.

One legal loophole, Shirke pointed out, was whereas earlier in the Lodha report state associations were given one year, the July 18 court order prescribed a maximum of six months to implement the recommendations. Shirke said it only created confusion. "The legal difficulties are that the committee has given the state associations one year," Shirke told the
Sunday Express. "Now suddenly, they have made it deadline-bound. Has the one-year deadline been withdrawn by the SC? We don't know. It hasn't been informed. Now, today's order of the Supreme Court says, as we didn't submit the affidavit, they had to stop the money. In light of all this, there's confusion."

In the Lodha report, referring to grounds for sanction and derecognition of a member, the committee had said: "No Member shall be entitled to any grant from the BCCI if its Constitution fails to provide for, or comply with the following within One Year after the Effective Date." The "following" was essentially the new governance structure suggested by the committee for which the states would first need to amend their constitution.

However, a basic reading of the court order makes it clear the court had designated the Lodha Committee to oversee and direct the implementation of the recommendations at both BCCI and state level within a "reasonable" period ranging between four and six months from the July 18 order.

So far, only two official Full Members, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Tripura Cricket Association, have adopted the recommendations unanimously. Rajasthan Cricket Association, which is not recognised by BCCI since it elected Lalit Modi (banned by BCCI) as its president, was the first to adopt the recommendations. However, most of bigger state associations remain defiant.

A former BCCI office bearer, who is currently head of a state association, was irritated when asked if he was bothered by the last week's court directive which asked the BCCI to stop issuing funds to the states. "There is no difficulty we - states - face," he said. "Lodha Committee has given a particular recommendation about the states. In the Supreme Court judgement, para 61, the court has said it accepts the rights of a citizens under Article 19 (1) (c) to form an association and the court will not interfere."

The official pointed out that the court had said the BCCI could not be granted the same immunity under Article 19(1) (c) since it is a private body performing a public function. "The court has now asked BCCI to stop giving funds to state associations that do not comply with the recommendations set by the Lodha Committee. But if I don't (comply) nobody can touch me. The board will not pay me money, but that money can only be board's money. If the money belongs to the states, the court cannot stop us."

The official said that if his state association were to host an international match, he has the right to get the money that the BCCI earns from the broadcasting rights. "We are holding the match. BCCI is only negotiating on our behalf."

A senior lawyer, who is well conversant with the BCCI constitution, said the state association president had misread and misinterpreted the clause. The lawyer pointed out he had heard the same reasoning being given by more than one state association. "Everyone has a right to freedom of association under Article 19 (1) (c), but once you have associated the court has said nothing stops it from regulating you (the state association) after you carry out a public function," the lawyer said.

BCCI to hold emergency SGM on October 15 | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo
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