The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to spend Rs 58.66 lakh for the conduct of the first Test match between India and England starting at Rajkot on Wednesday.
The bench of chief Justice TS Thakur, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud said that the apex cricket body can spend a similar amount for the other matches to be played between India and England till December 3.
Allowing the BCCI to incur these expenses, the court said the amount will be released to meet the players’ allowances, insurance expenses and payment to the third umpire as per the contract entered into by the BCCI for the conduct of the match and not to Rajkot/Saurashtra Cricket Association.
The top court in its October 21 order had said that no state affiliates of the BCCI would be given any funds until they give an undertaking that they would comply with Lodha committee recommendations, which were subsequently endorsed, by the top court.
“The BCCI shall forthwith cease and desist from making any disbursement of funds for any purpose whatsoever to any state association until and unless the state association concerned adopts a resolution undertaking to implement the recommendations of the committee as accepted by this Court in its judgment dated 18 July 2016”, the top court had said in its October 21 order.
The Lodha panel on Tuesday submitted its second status report to the top court. The second status report was submitted by panel secretary Gopal Shankarnarayan.
The bench said that the BCCI upon the completion of the India-England series would submit its accounts to the Lodha committee which in turn would get them audited by an independent auditor.
The court also allowed the committee to appoint secretarial staff, independent auditor and experts from relevant disciplines to see that the court’s orders of October 21 are carried out.
The top court in its October 21 order had asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to study BCCI’s finances, including contracts involving media rights and other tenders above certain threshold value.
The BCCI on Tuesday urged the bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar to hold an early hearing of its application seeking release of funds for the conduct of the Rajkot Test match.
It said that in the absence of permission to spend money, the Rajkot Test match will have to be cancelled.
Kapil Sibal who appeared for the BCCI told the bench in the morning that unless the BCCI was allowed to spend the money, the Rajkot match on Wednesday between India and England would be cancelled.
However, senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam appearing for the Lodha panel told the court that the BCCI was in breach of the Court’s October 21 judgment and it could not be allowed to incur expenses till it complied with the directions issued by the Lodha panel and endorsed by the top court.