India's top court today decided to reserve its order to pass direction over Justice Lodha committee plea alleging that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is violating the apex court order and committee directions regarding the BCCI reforms.
The president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Anurag Thakur, however, filed an affidavit and told India's top court that he had not asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO, Shashank Manohar, to state that the appointment of Justice R M Lodha committee would "tantamount to government interference" in the functioning of BCCI, Indian news agency PTI reported.
In the affidavit, Thakur said: "I am filing this affidavit pursuant to the order dated October 7, passed by this court on whether I had asked the CEO of the ICC to state that the appointment of Justice Lodha Committee was tantamount to government interference in the working of the BCCI."
"At the outset, it is denied that any such request was put forth by me to the CEO of the ICC," Thakur said in his affidavit, according to PTI.
He told the apex court that he said he took part in a recent ICC meeting where he had pointed out to the ICC chief that he, as the then BCCI president, had taken a view that Justice Lodha panel recommendation on appointment of a CAG nominee in the apex council would amount to governmental interference and may invoke action of suspension of the Board from the ICC.
It's pertinent to mention that Lodha Committee is a Supreme Court-appointed panel that was formed after the national cricket governing body got embroiled in controversy over alleged siphoning of funds. The panel was formed to overhaul the functioning of BCCI.
"I, therefore, requested him that he being the ICC chairman, can a letter be issued clarifying the position which he had taken as BCCI President," the affidavit said. "Manohar explained to me at the meeting that when the stand was taken by him, the matter was pending before this court and had not been decided."
The affidavit also mentioned that BCCI had later rejected BCCI's contention that the appointment of CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India ) nominee in the council would amount to governmental interference, PTI reported. The apex court had held that the ICC would appreciate that the appointment would bring transparency in the finances of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
According to ICC regulations, national boards must not have government interference in its administrative body. A transgression in this regard could lead to de-recognition of member boards, Indian news agency ANI reported today.
Earlier during the hearing, SC had dismissed BCCI's response to the status report filed by the Lodha committee following the board's failure to meet an important deadline with respect to the implementation of a Memorandum of Associations (MoA), as necessitated by the timelines framed by the Lodha committee, according to ANI.
Justice TS Thakur had criticised the BCCI for transferring Rs 400 crore overnight to its state associations, which was against the Lodha panel's recommendations.
Insisting that the national cricket board should have maintained transparency, the court had said: "You can't transfer Rs 400 crore overnight." BCCI, on the other hand, had refuted allegations of non-compliance with Lodha panel's recommendations.
The SC-appointed panel, Lodha Committee, last week, accused the BCCI of defying the apex court`s orders and stalling its proposed reforms. It also recommended the ouster of the entire top brass of the cash-rich cricket body.
The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member BCCI committee, include one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board.Defending its action, the BCCI said, "a meeting comprising all members took place, and several recommendations of the Lodha Committee were rejected by voting".