New Delhi: With the Board of Control for Cricket in India opposing most of the recommendations suggested by the Justice Lodha panel, the Supreme Court on Friday observed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which is collecting crores of money, is refusing to be reformed.
Even as senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the BCCI submitted before a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla that many of the reforms suggested cannot be implemented, the CJI retorted, “You collect say hundreds of thousands of crores of money and you will have complete control over it and you cannot be questioned; you collect money from public and hold it as a trust for the promotion of the game of cricket but still you say we cannot go into the aspect as to who manages it, or to whom you allocate money.
The BCCI is refusing to be reformed or it is not amenable to reform, while discharging a public function.” Venugopal said the money the BCCI collects is from broadcasters for telecast rights and not from public and the BCCI, registered under the societies act, was answerable only to the registrar of societies if there was any complaint or allegation.
Claiming absolute autonomy of the board, he quoted a five-judge constitution bench ruling to drive home the point that the court can interfere only to the extent that the Board discharges public functions. But who should be a member or who should not be a member, the qualification criteria, right to vote or to exclude somebody from voting had nothing to do with functions of the board.
The counsel pointed out that appointing a CAG as a member of the board was not practicable as appointment of government officer is tantamount to violating ICC guidelines. If the BCCI is derecognised, we cannot hold any international matches, he said.
The CJI asked the counsel, “Is BCCI arguing that we might collect crores of money, but we can’t be questioned as to how we spend it? Shall we record your statement that we will collect fabulous money but we cannot be questioned. You will give `100 crores to Goa or Gujarat and none to Bihar but still you cannot be questioned.
“When there are match-fixing allegations in the IPL, we appointed this committee, which has not taken away your money. After all what the panel has said is to ensure transparency and free from allegations you appoint a CAG as member. The recommendations are an effort towards reform. Shall we take it that your stand is we are not amenable to any reform?” Arguments will continue on April 11....