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Live in Supreme Court, BCCI vs Lodha Panel: India's cricket bosses in exit queue

The Boad of Control for Cricket in India is braced for severe action by the Supreme Court, which is due to pronounce its order over the Justice RM Lodha Committee’s directives for reforms. The court could even ask top BCCI officials to step down and appoint an independent observer to oversee transition.Get live updates of today’s proceedings here.

11:25 hrs IST: The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, is likely to appoint former Union home secretary, GK Pillai. The Committee had suggested removal of the BCCI office-bearers and the appointment of Pillai in its status report. In the last hearing, amicus curiae and senior lawyer Gopal Subramaniam recommended the names of Pillai with ex- Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai and former Test cricketer Mohinder Amarnath to run the BCCI.

11:02 hrs IST: Despite all the court hearings, Indian cricketers have been in great form on the field. Anurag Thakur is rightly very proud. “We are the number one team in Tests, number two in T20s and number three in ODIs. Look at the performance of our junior team where they are in the finals of the Asia Cup. Our women’s team has won the Asia Cup. So where are shortcomings? Pressure is being created unnecessarily on us,” Thakur has said. But the court is not very happy with the high-handed and defiant attitude of the BCCI top brass.

10:55 hrs IST: The BCCI has always been against implementing the Lodha panel reforms. These were made binding by the Supreme Court. The BCCI has called several meetings but never reached a decision on implementing the changes. “The members do not agree to implement three-four recommendations as they are not practical. To convey this, we sought time but the committee is not giving us time for the last two months,” Anurag Thakur complained.

10:40 hrs IST: Anurag Thakur has strongly denied that he has lied under oath to the Supreme Court. Apparently, he had asked the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar if the appointment of a member of CAG in the apex council of BCCI amounted to government intervention in BCCI affairs. “There is no question of perjury and I have not lied,” Thakur had told reporters on December 21.

10:35 hrs IST: The appointment of an observer or panel of observers will mean the powers of Anurag Thakur and his team will be clipped. Anurag Thakur could also face a case of perjury.

10:00 hrs IST: The Supreme Court order on how BCCI will implement the Lodha committee is expected to be delivered at 10:45 PM. This could be a landmark judgement.

Here’s a list of the 10 main developments of the case.

2014

February: Former Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice, Mukul Mudgal, the one-man probe panel, submits initial report to the court.

November: Justice (retd) Mudgal, submits final probe report to the apex court, indicating improper conduct by Chennai Super Kings and its top official, Gurunath Meiyappan, and Rajasthan Royals and its co-owner, Raj Kundra.

2015

January 22: SC appoints three-member panel of retired judges, headed by former CJI, RM Lodha, to further probe and decide on punishments to CSK and RR and Meiyappan and Kundra, over illegal betting allegations. It is also tasked with recommending reforms in the BCCI administration to usher in transparency.

July 14: The Lodha panel recommends life bans for Meiyappan and Kundra from any cricket-related activity and slaps two-year suspensions on CSK and RR, expelling them from Indian Premier League 2016 and 2017.

2016

January 4: The Lodha Committee report is released, and makes sweeping recommendations to reform BCCI. Key directives are one-man, one-post, one-state, one-vote, age limit of 70 years, appointment of Apex panel to run administration, turn five-man selection panel to a three-member committee, appointment of a CEO to take day-to-day running off the board out of the hands of office-bearers.

April 5: SC slams the cricket board, calls it a ‘mutual benefit society’ which distributes huge sums to its units without asking how they spend the sums.

April 14: Lodha panel sends 82 questions to BCCI, asking to explain how it runs cricket in India.

July 18: Supreme Court bench headed by CJI, TS Thakur, ratifies the Lodha panel report and orders the BCCI to implement it.

August/September: Lodha panel issues timelines, asks BCCI to hold elections for the Apex Council.

September: BCCI defies Lodha panel, names five-man selection committee. On September 28, Lodha panel in its status report recommends superseding the Board top brass.

October: SC orders restriction on BCCI spending or distributing funds to member units if they don’t implement Lodha panel recommendations in full.

Anurag Thakur files affidavit, denying he sought an ICC letter to the effect that the Lodha directives amounted to government interference. ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in his affidavit says Thakur asked for the letter.

November: Lodha panel recommends removal of BCCI office-bearers and appointment of former union home secretary, GK Pillai, as observer.

December 16: CJI Thakur tells Anurag Thakur that he could be proceeded against for perjury, for lying under the oath over his affidavit. BCCI lawyer, Kapil Sibal, tells court there has been some ‘misunderstanding’.

Source: HindustanTimes