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India's top court tells BCCI to 'fall in line' and not act like 'lords'

The panel seeks the removal of BCCI president Anurag Thakur (in photo) and secretary Ajay Shirke, for non-compliance of the apex court directions. Photograph: (AFP)

New Delhi, India Sep 28, 2016, 08.00 AM (IST)

India's Supreme Court today admonished the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the national governing body of cricket, for failing to abide by its orders. 

Counsel of the Lodha Committee, which is looking into BCCI processes, had informed the Indian court earlier that the BCCI was not replying to its mails and other forms of communication. 

The court took a serious view of the matter and warned the BCCI today to "fall in line" and not "behave like lords".

"If the BCCI thinks that they are law unto themselves, then they are wrong. They have to comply with the directions of the court," the court said today.

"You (BCCI) are behaving like lords. Fall in line otherwise we will make you fall in line," it further said.

The court also said it was "not happy" with how things are working in BCCI.

The Lodha panel had previously been critical of how the BCCI functioned. It had even recommended an overhaul of the administration's top brass, including removal of BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke for not complying with court orders. 

The Lodha Committee, constituted by the Supreme Court, had given a series of recommendations to bring about administrative changes in BCCI in the next six months. The panel had suggested exclusion of ministers, civil servants and those above the age of 70 from holding any BCCI positions.

The panel also recommended legalising betting and whether the BCCI should come under the Right to Information (RTI) ambit. It also set a fixed term for every BCCI official.

The RTI empowers citizens of India to get information from a public authority within 30 days' time. A public authority can be any body that falls under the government of India. But the BCCI for long maintained that it was a private body and did not have to come under the jurisdiction of RTI. But the Supreme Court said they were accountable as it was not a "private club". 

The Lodha panel, however, has left it to the Indian parliament to decide whether they should legalise betting and make BBCI accountable to the public.  

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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