Justice R.M.Lodha dissatisfied with "diluted recommendations" handed to BCCI
What's the story?
The Honourable Supreme Court(SC)'s latest mandate on BCCI's administration policies have come out, and it has not gone down well with Justice (retd.) R.M.Lodha, the man behind the "Lodha reforms" that were supposed to bring about a cleanse in the organization and its management.
In case you didn't know...
The BCCI management had been accused of widespread embezzlement and committing of frauds since the 2013 IPL which was in news for match-fixing and betting rows, after which the SC-appointed Mukul Mudgal committee called for reforms in the administration. This led to the formation of the panel led by Justice Lodha, with an aim to create reforms in BCCI's system. This was in late 2015, and by January 2016, the Lodha panel had formed a set of new rules that would decide how BCCI was administered in the future. The SC also gave the board a deadline of March 3 the same year, to respond back, but they failed to do so.
By June 2016, the SC accepted the reforms and steps were taken to remove Anurag Thakur, then-President of the BCCI, and a few other core members from their respective positions. On account of proper leverage against them, the SC removed the various members including Thakur from their posts, on January 2017. Since then, Thakur had been fighting to stage a comeback, as he also visited the court in person and apologized for all the discrepancy from his part. The Court finally paid heed to his plea in late July 2018, as it accepted Thakur's "impleadment" plea, which has now resulted in amendment of the earlier court-rule, allowing the BCCI more flexibility.
"They were core recommendations. Very significant points which really wanted to bring a lot of independence in the working of BCCI and usher in accountability and transparency. It was also about maintaining balance of power among the members," explained a dejected Justice Lodha while talking to the Times News Network, on what he felt on the dilution of his committee's recommendations.
"So all the ills which we wanted to eradicate by recommending these reforms, they have been diluted. It was a full package of reforms and it was intended to give a very strong administrative and governance structure to the BCCI. If you pull out a few important bricks from that strong structure, it is bound to affect its strength and that is what has happened," he added.
Justice Lodha also accused the Government of getting through to the Indian Cricket Board through the back door. According to him, that happening could tilt the balance when it came to the electing of representatives, which in turn would cause a lot of problems in decision-making. Another problem was the removal of the "one-state-one-vote" norm. "The idea was to keep all the states at par. With these two Western states, Maharashtra and Gujarat, having six votes the entire election will have a different color. They will have a dominant role to play with six votes as they will have a lot of bargaining power," he said, and also added how that will help a single person gain monopoly in cricketing administration - basically back to the olden days.
Justice Lodha said it was a very disappointing day for him, in having put in so much of work and the Supreme Court had diluted it, after initial acceptation. "As a judge and man of law, I am more interested in knowing what legal principles have been actually applied by the Supreme Court in changing its own order which had a finality to it," he concluded, though it is not sure as to how he may retaliate to the move as of yet.