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SC sacks BCCI top brass for defying Lodha panel recommendations

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New Delhi:  Cracking the whip on a defiant Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not complying with its orders to implement the R.M. Lodha committee reforms, the Supreme Court on Monday sacked its President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that as an interim arrangement, the senior-most Vice President of the BCCI will act as the President and the Joint Secretary will act as the Secretary.

The court asked amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium and eminent lawyer Fali Nariman to suggest the names that will be in the committee to be headed by an administrator to oversee the Board’s functioning.

The Court has set January 19 for the next hearing when names of the interim BCCI board will be announced.

The court said it will pass a separate order on January 19 for appointing the administrator.

The bench also said that all the office bearers of the BCCI and its affiliate state units, who are in conflict with the recommendation of the Lodha committee, will demit office.

In its hearing, the apex court on MOnday asked why the duo of Thakur and Shirke should not be tried for perjury and contempt. “Why shouldn’t prosecution be initiated against him (Thakur)”?

The court said the duo hadn’t complied with its July 18, 2016 order and were thus removed.

The apex court also asked the other office bearers of BCCI and state associations to give an undertaking to abide by recommendations of Lodha Committee.

Reacting to his removal from the Secretary’s post, Shirke said: “I have nothing to say. My role in BCCI is over. If SC has asked me to leave, that’s fine. I hope the new administration runs BCCI well.”

Welcoming the hearing, retired Justice Lodha, who headed the panel for bringing in reforms in the national cricket board said: “The reforms were laid down on July 18, BCCI was bound to follow it but they didn’t. Hence consequences had to follow.”

“This was to happen, and now this has happened. Had submitted three reports before Supreme court, even then it wasnt implemented.”

“Once committee’s reforms were accepted by SC in its July 18 order, it had to be implemented, this is logical consequence.”

“It’s a victory for the game of cricket. Administrators will come and go and I am sure the game will flourish,” he added.

Former India skipper Bishan Singh Bedi, who has been a constant voice against the BCCI set up, also welcomed the move and said: “I hope Indian cricket will return on the right track. Satisfied with the SC order.”

“These are the consequences of not accepting the Lodha committee recommendation” former BCCI Treasurer Kishore Rungta said.

Justice Mukul Mudgal, who had simultaneously probed the affairs of the DDCA, also welcomed the hearing saying: “Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke have borne consequences of BCCI not obeying SC orders.”

IANS

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