The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday filed a petition in Supreme Court seeking review of its July 18 verdict in which it had accepted most recommendations of the R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cricketing body, saying the bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur had “a prejudiced approach” against it and he should recuse from hearing the matter.
The BCCI also contended that the judgement was “unreasoned” and “seeks to frame legislative measures for a private autonomous society in a field already occupied by legislations, both parliamentary and state”.
BCCI further said the judgment authored by the CJI and Justice F M I Kalifulla (since retired) has “neither noted the contentions and facts correctly, nor dealt with the same”.
“The judgment is unconstitutional and contrary to many binding precedents of this Court and adversely affects and nullifies the fundamental rights granted to citizens under Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution,” it said, adding “the judgment outsources judicial power to a committee of retired judges, which is impermissible in law.”
The judgment is a nullity as the judges were functus officio after passing of the main judgment of January 22, 2015 and the matter could not have been revived suo motu as no provision of law empowers the same and is contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers and contrary to settled law that the judiciary cannot make laws,” the plea said.
However, the most important aspect of the review petition, which also demanded an open court hearing, is the plea for recusal of the CJI from hearing it alleging that there has been a “prejudiced approach” against BCCI.
“Chief Justice T S Thakur seems to have a prejudiced approach to BCCI which is evident by statements such as ‘BCCI treatment’ is to be meted out to another entity i.E. The All India Football Federation in another case, ex-facie shows that the Chief Justice has a closed mind and will summarily dismiss the review petition without listing the same before another bench of five judges for hearing in the open Court,” it said.
On July 18, the court had accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI, including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members, but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI and whether betting on the game should be legalised.
The apex court had also accepted the recommendations of the Committee headed by retired Chief Justice of India Justice R M Lodha to have a CAG nominee in BCCI.
The bench had, however, rejected BCCI’s objection against the recommendations for one-state, one-vote and said that states like Maharashtra and Gujarat having more than one cricket associations will have voting rights on rotational basis.