The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Board of Control of Cricket for India to make amendments to its constitution, relaxing the cooling-off period, which now clears the way for the board’s secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly to retain their positions and serve out another three-year term, reported PTI.
Going forward, an administrator will need to take a cooling off period only after two consecutive terms (of three years each) in office, be it a state association or in the BCCI.
The top court’s remarks came during a hearing on the Board’s plea to amend its constitution in order to eliminate the required cooling-off period for office holders across state cricket associations and the BCCI, including its president and secretary.
In the hearing on Wednesday, ESPNCricinfo reported that Justice Chandrachud clarified that the new amendment allows a state association or BCCI office holder to hold their position cumulatively for 12 years without a break, which contrasts greatly with the initial 2016 ruling that called for a break after every three year-term.
He said, “Existing position is by using the word combination, even if you have done one term in state and one term in BCCI then you are out. But what we are proposing is that if you have done six years at the state level then you are subject to a three-year cooling-off period (at state). If you have not done six years at the same level then you are not subject to a cooling-off period,”
“We are giving a more liberal thing: you can do six in the state, you can then immediately do six in the BCCI because they are two different levels. But after completing two consecutive terms at two different levels then take a break of three years.”
According to the existing constitution, an office bearer of the state association could not hold a post in BCCI, without undergoing a three year cooling-off period. However, according to PTI, the BCCI’s legal counsel Tushar Mehta on Tuesday told the two-judge bench made up of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that, “Leadership develops at the grassroots level and it remains in the state association. By the time, his time comes for being elevated to the BCCI; he has to go for a mandatory three-year cooling-off period. One cannot become a member of the BCCI if he is not an active member of the state association.”
He continued by saying that the post held by a BCCI office bearer in a state organisation should not be taken into account for the cooling-off period.
Update: While the current terms could be extended for the BCCI’s top two officials, according to a report in The New Indian Express, the next BCCI AGM could see a change of guard with Shah likely to take over as President.