The Justice Lodha Committee has turned down the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) request to defer their meeting scheduled for Tuesday in New Delhi.
The Committee had summoned BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to set timelines for the structural transformation of cricket administration. On Sunday night, it received a message from Board secretary Ajay Shirke asking that the meeting be deferred, which it declined.
The BCCI, on August 2, had appointed former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju as an interface to deal with the Lodha Committee, and in less than a week’s time, Justice Katju presented an interim report (in New Delhi on Sunday), terming the Supreme Court judgement “unconstitutional and illegal”.
It must be recalled here that the BCCI had accepted the Lodha Committee order to suspend Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and the life ban on CSK’s Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals’s Raj Kundra.
Furthermore, the BCCI also did not say anything when the Committee cleared Sundar Raman (former IPL Chief Operating Officer) of any wrongdoing.
According to the judgment and order of the Supreme Court on January 22, 2015, the Lodha Committee was to: (1) determine the quantum of punishment to Meiyappan and Kundra and their franchises; (2) examine the role of Sundar Raman and, if found guilty, impose a suitable punishment; and (3) recommend reforms in the practices and procedures of the BCCI and also amendments in the Memorandum of Association and Rules & Regulations.
“The BCCI has accepted a part of the Supreme Court order; why the reluctance to implement the third? The MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) has even accepted the recommendation in toto,” reacted a BCCI functionary.
It is apparent that the BCCI doesn’t want to implement the recommendations as per the timelines; it has decided to file a review petition.
Justice Katju had even advised the BCCI president and secretary not to meet the Lodha Committee. The Committee, on its part, will file a status report highlighting impediments, should Thakur and Shirke not meet the Committee on Tuesday.