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BCCI vs Lodha: SC puts accounts under scrutiny, wants reforms implemented

Issuing the direction, the top court also asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the cricket board's accounts, and also to fix a limit of financial transaction of BCCI

Anurag Thakur, BCCI president, and Justice R M Lodha

In a fresh setback to the BCCI, the Supreme Court in another strong order asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to not release funds to state cricket bodies till they promise to implement Lodha panel recommendations.

This order means that the BCCI has now no option but to implement Justice RM Lodha recommendations suggesting reforms in the cricket’s richest cricket body.

The BCCI till now has been making one excuse after another and expressed its unwillingness to implement the reforms even  if it  means defying the highest court of the land.

Issuing the direction, the top court also asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise the cricket board’s accounts, and also to fix a limit of financial transaction of BCCI.

The court also asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur to give undertaking to comply with Lodha panel recommendations and court orders.

The court will next hear the matter next on December 5. The BCCI president has been asked to personally appear before the apex court during the next hearing.

The Supreme Court would also apprise International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar of its orders.

The top court had earlier barred the BCCI from releasing any funds to its state affiliates until they give an unconditional undertaking that they will comply with the organisational reforms as recommended by the Justice RM Lodha Committee.

Justice TS Thakur had also criticised the BCCI for transferring Rs. 400 crore overnight to its state associations which was against the Lodha panel’s recommendations.

In its report submitted to the Supreme Court, the apex court-appointed panel had stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country’s cricket governing body.

In its October 1 special general meeting, the BCCI had accepted many of the “significant recommendations” of the Lodha committee, however, it excluded the important ones which have been bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha panel.

The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member 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.

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