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Supreme Court directs BCCI to accept Justice Lodha Committee recommendations fully

Notwithstanding BCCI's opposition, the apex court has directed the Lodha Committee to push for the implementation of its recommendations.

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The Justice Lodha Committee had, in December, suggested sweeping reforms to the administrative structure of the BCCI. 

The Supreme Court on February 4 suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should fully accept the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee on the structural reforms in the apex cricketing body.

A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla told the BCCI that Justice Lodha Committee has given some "very viable rational solutions.” The Court further said: “You take a realistic view of the matter and act according to the recommendations."

Technical and legal problems with the report: BCCI counsel

Addressing senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the BCCI over the issue of the report's significance, the court said: "The report deserves respect as it is given by the most competent and well-meaning members of the legal fraternity."

"It may affect some people who are holding positions but any transition has to have its problems," the court said as Naphade sought to project the difficulties that the apex cricketing body was encountering while trying to adhere to the recommendations.

"It involves sweeping changes. We are not taking an obstructionist view. There are technical and legal problems.

“The legal committee (of the BCCI) will take a call on the recommendations, which in turn will be considered by the Cricket Board and take a final decision," Naphade told the court pointing out that BCCI was registered as a society in Tamil Nadu and had to go by its bye-laws.

Not missing on apparent reservations on the part of the BCCI, the court made it clear that it would not appreciate any suitability assessment of the recommendations by the cricketing body.

SC asks the Committee to push for implementation of recommendations

"We will say that we accept the recommendations and ask the Justice Lodha Committee to push forward its (recommendations) to its implementation.. (and) help and steer them (BCCI) in the implementation of the recommendations and also monitor it," Chief Justice Thakur said making it clear that there could not be any if and buts in going along with the recommendations for structural reforms.

The court said that there could be no digression from carrying out the recommendations unless the cricketing body tells something enormous that can't be done.

Telling the court that they could read the writing on the wall, Naphade sought some time for BCCI to respond.

Senior counsel Indu Malhotra, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), told the court that some states including Bihar and the six northeastern states have no representation in the apex cricketing body, while on the other hand, Maharashtra and Gujarat have multiple votes, but Naphade cited historical reasons to justify the latter position.

The apex court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee have made a host of far-reaching recommendations for improvement of cricket administration in the country including limiting the term for the BCCI office bearers with cooling off period and separate governing bodies for the BCCI and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

It had also recommended bringing the BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, legalisation of betting, uniformity in structure of state associations, and a one-state-one-member (vote) pattern for the BCCI governing body.

The matter would come up for further hearing on March 3.

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