The Supreme Court of India in an apparent softening of its stance on the key Lodha reforms that include the much speculated one state one vote policy and the cooling off periods between terms of administrators. The apex court however reserved its order on the new constitution of BBCI, but the new outlook it has taken up on the subject it is likely to bring smiles on faces of BCCI veterans who had resisted the court’s July 2016 order.
The bench comprising of the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice DY Chandrachaud and Justice AM Khanwilkar gave a clarification that the bench won’t make any changes to the main judgment but will modify the orders pertaining to the contentious reforms before giving a formal approval to the new constitution. The reform regarding the cooling off period is a major change that can be expected in the revision.
The BBCI along with its state associations has continuously objected the cooling off period of three years, age and tenure caps as put up by the Lodha committee. The new rules disqualify several top BCCI guns like Sharad Pawar, N. Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah from continuing with their administrative role. The apex court has indicated the abolishment of the cooling off period making the administrators eligible to participate in elections for a 3-year tenure but for a different position. But the court has upheld the cooling-off tenure of 9 years.
The bench also heard the BBCI’s legal counsel’s plea on the age cap (70 years) as he brought up the age of Mr. Vinod Rai, an administrator in the court-appointed Committee. Rai recently turned 70 which makes him ineligible for the post of a BBCI administrator. This is in violation of the newly implemented reforms. However, it is unlikely that the court will relax the age cap.
Lodha committee has also recommended reducing the number of national selectors from the current 5 to 3, this reform is expected to be recalibrated back to five selectors. As per the new reform, the first-class cricketers with 35 matches experience can become selectors. This is expected to bring former BBCI selectors Jatin Paranipe and Gagan Khoda back in the committee.
On the matter of one state one vote policy, the apex court may approve modifications as there are cricket associations involves that are older than hundred years and contributing to cricket. Their case needed a re-look.
The final order by the Supreme court on the BCCI constitution can be passed in the next two weeks.