The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India to either elect new administrators or seek time from the Justice Lodha Committee "to fall in line". It asked the cricketing body to submit a guarantee by Friday that it will implement the recommendations of the panel unconditionally. The court said it would be forced to pass orders against the BCCI if it failed to comply with the direction, ANI reported.
The order comes after the BCCI filed a response to the apex court earlier in the day, refuting the panel's allegations that it had not complied with its recommendations. The BCCI said that in a meeting of its members, several Lodha panel recommendations were rejected after they voting on them. "Records of 40 mails sent to Justice Lodha will be submitted to the court. It is not true that we didn't respond to committee's mails," the response said.
The cricketing body submitted its response after the Lodha committee moved the apex court on September 28, seeking the removal of the BCCI's top functionaries, including President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke, for non-compliance with its orders.
The Supreme Court-appointed committee had accused the BCCI of turning a blind eye to its recommendations on bringing changes to its governance. The Lodha panel had set the BCCI two deadlines – September 30 to make constitutional changes, and December 15 for the board to form a nine-member apex committee that will replace the working committee. During its Annual General Meeting on September 21, the BCCI flouted the Lodha panel's guidelines by naming several committees that will be effective for 2016-'17.
On October 1, the BCCI finally agreed to implement some of the recommendations. It said it will form an apex council, but with certain modifications. It also agreed to include a representative of the Comptroller and Auditor General as a member of its council as well as in the IPL governing council. However, the board did not accept the main recommendations such as the one-state-one-vote policy, the 70-year age cap and the maximum tenure of nine years with cooling-off periods in between.
The stand-off between the Lodha committee and the BCCI reached its peak on Monday when the former asked banks to stop disbursing funds for financial decisions made by the cricketing board. The committee said that as per its directive, the board was not supposed to make any decision on issues apart from “routine matters”. “The disbursement of these amounts are not routine,” said the letter issued by the panel. Two days later, the Lodha committee asked the state cricket bodies not to release any funds disbursed by the BCCI.
The Lodha committee was formed after the spot-fixing and betting scandal emerged during the Indian Premier League in 2013.