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BCCI vs Lodha Panel: SC bars BCCI releasing funds to state associations

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The Supreme Court has decided to postpone the hearing to October 17 as BCCI plans to produce more arguments.

Earlier a verdict was supposed to be pronounced at 2 PM on October 7 in Justice RM Lodha Committee’s plea, seeking to replace the current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) brass for impeding the panel’s work to usher in transparency and accountability in Indian cricket administration.

At the moment, the matter is with the BCCI ombudsman and the Court refused to refer the matter to the Lodha committee. There won’t be any relief to the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) either with the body looking to be recognised by the BCCI – and unable to do so.

The court decided to pass an order on the implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations on Friday after the BCCI counsel declined to give an unconditional undertaking on Thursday that it will seek instructions to stop funds to state bodies and abide by the committee’s recommendations.

The BCCI however, faced the wrath of the apex court for its defiant attitude in implementing the directions of the Lodha committee to reform cricket in the country. The court also rebuked the cricket body for hurriedly disbursing around Rs 400 crore to state bodies.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said that BCCI’s defiant attitude will not lead anywhere. It further emphasised that transparency, fairness, and objectivity were most important aspects in all decisions including disbursal of funds by BCCI.

The bench said that BCCI cannot pass the buck and allow state bodies to defy reforms.

The court on Thursday called on BCCI not to belittle the Justice RM Lodha-led committee and directed it to resolve “any outstanding issues” with the panel.

Chief Justice T.S. Thakur stated, “Lodha panel is not an ordinary panel. It is headed by a former CJI. If you have any outstanding issues, go to the panel.”

The apex court observed that “either BCCI elects new administrators or the Lodha panel gives more time to BCCI to fall in line” and asked the cash-rich cricket body “will you implement the Lodha Committee recommendation or not?”

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