IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.4235 OF 2014
In the Matter of:
Board of Control for Cricket in India …PETITIONER
Cricket Association of Bihar &Ors., …RESPONDENTS
Status Report submitted by the Supreme Court Committee
- As per the judgment of this Hon’ble Court dated 18th July 2016, this Court had inter alia stated as follows:
“91. In the result, we accept the report submitted by the Committee and the recommendations made therein with such modifications and clarifications as have been set out by us in the body of this judgment. Having said that we must hasten to add that the implementation of the recommendations is equally important and ought to be achieved within a reasonable period. The transition from the old to the new system recommended by the Committee shall have to be under the watchful supervision of this Court. Constrains of time and the multiple dimensions of the recommendations made however make it difficult for us to take that supervisory role upon ourselves. The supervision of the transition can, in our opinion, be left to be undertaken by the Committee not only because it has a complete understanding of and insight into the nature of the problems sought to be remedied but also the ability to draw timelines for taking of steps necessary for the implementation of the proposed reforms. We are conscious of fact that the process may be time consuming but we hope that the same should be completed within a period of four months or at best six months from today. We, therefore, request the committee headed by Justice Lodha to draw appropriate timelines for implementation of the recommendations and supervise the implementation thereof.
- Needless to say that the BCCI and all concerned shall cooperate and act in aid of the Committee and its directives. Should any impediments arise, the Committee shall be free to seek appropriate directions from this Court by filing a status report in that regard.”
- In pursuance of the directions of this Hon’ble Court, this Committee immediately commenced the task of corresponding with the BCCI in order to carry forward the directives of this Hon’ble Court. In this regard, over the last two months, the SC Committee has invited the President and Secretary of the BCCI for a meeting, sent several emails to the office bearers, issued detailed timelines for implementation, conducted meetings of its own and issued press advisories so that all administrators across the country are fully aware of what is expected of them. During this period, the SC Committee has also received several emails and representations from member associations, former cricketers, journalists, administrators and other functionaries seeking clarifications and directions on certain issues.
- The events that transpired after 18th July 2016 till the present are detailed below:
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS FROM 18th JULY 2016
|18.07.2016||Supreme Court Judgment directing the Committee to supervise the implementation of reforms and for all others to cooperate with the same.
|20.07.2016||Email from SC Committee to BCCI Office Bearers extracting Paras of Judgment and directing for BCCI and member elections to be kept on hold and for BCCI to intimate all members.
Separate Emails sent to Associations of Bengal and Karnataka.
|No acknowledgement or reply.
No intimation to member associations.
Both acknowledge and postpone elections.
|21.07.2016||Email from SC Committee to BCCI Office Bearers referencing the previous day’s mail and giving a clarification on the 9 years cap. Once again, BCCI directed to intimate all members.
|No acknowledgement or reply.
No intimation to member associations.
|21.07.2016||Email to Nodal Officer Anirudh Chaudhry requesting arrangements to be made for meetings of 8th and 9th August. Also request for President and Secretary of BCCI to be present on 9th August.
|Nodal Officer replies the same day saying he has forwarded the mail to President and Secretary.|
|24.07.2016||Email to Nodal Officer stating that there has been no response from President and Secretary to any of the emails.||Nodal Officer replies on 26th saying Mr.RahulJohri is the CEO and he will coordinate with the Committee.
|28.07.2016||Email to Rahul Johri once again seeking confirmation whether directions to member associations have been made and whether President and Secretary will be present.
|No acknowledgement or reply.
No intimation to member associations.
|28.07.2016||Email to Nodal Officer referring to a call from a media house quoting Secretary as saying he has not received any mail to attend the meeting. Also that no response to any previous mails as well.
|Nodal Officer’s reply on 29th copying Secretary saying that Secretary will respond shortly|
|29.07.2016||Times of India Report quotes Secretary as saying he has no intimation and that the Committee only wanted a 5-star hotel room.
|29.07.2016||Email from Secretary to send all emails directly to his email address, and only then will he communicate about his attendance and availability.||
|29.07.2016||Email to Secretary copying all 3 previous emails sent to him and referring to his and President’s presence being required for 9th.||Secretary replies the same day saying:
1. The directions as far as State Associations are concerned are being studied.
2. BCCI office department has replied on hotel booking
3. Because of his personal preference to receive a direct email, will not treat any other request as having been received from the Committee.
4. If the Committee does not wish to send him emails directly, let it be known and he will note the same.
|29.07.2016||Email from Secretary attaching letter dated 29.07.2016 stating that BCCI cannot give directions to State Associations to stop elections.||Committee reply of 30.07.2016 stating the letter misunderstands the situation and that BCCI was only to convey the Committee’s directions to the States. A confirmation of this is sought.
No reply or acknowledgement received.
|30.07.2016||Yet again, intimation to President and Secretary to appear on 9th August||No reply or acknowledgement received.
|BCCI has Working Committee Meeting: Resolves to appoint Panel headed by Justice Katju to be the single point interface with the SC Committee as well as advice and guide the BCCI
|02.08.2016||Despite SC Judgment, BCCI floats Invitation to Tender for Media Rights for IND-WI in USA. ITT document to be shared via email based on requests and eligibility.
|BCCI did not provide for details of eligibility, qualification, etc., in the Invitation to Tender.
|06.08.2016||Report of Justice Katju panel which contains several remarks about this Hon’ble Court and the Committee [Annexure-I]
|07.08.2016||Press Conference by BCCI where Justice Katju makes several derogatory remarks about the judiciary and the Committee in the presence of the Secretary, BCCI
|Report is promptly uploaded on the website of the BCCI|
|07.08.2016||Email from Secretary, BCCIseeking deferment of meeting until the Review Petition is decided by this Hon’ble Court||Request Declined by SC Committee email dated 08.08.2016 as time is of the essence, there was no previous reply or acknowledgement and there is no stay of judgment. In addition, the Review Petition had not even been filed yet.
First and Second
|Meetings of the SC Committee
Letter handed over by Secretary, BCCIstating that a “reasonable request” was not granted by the SC Committee and that President, BCCIcannot attend. The Report of the Justice Katju panel is annexed.
The SC Committee handed over the first set of Timelines to the Secretary, BCCI and informed him to maintain transparency and accountability of all tenders, bids and contracts with effect from 18.7.2016 itself.
[Minutes are Annexures II & III]
|SC Committee issues Press Advisory with First Set of Timelines [Annexure –IV] to be followed and also informs Secretary BCCI to maintain transparency and accountability of all tenders, bids and contracts with effect from 18.7.2016 itself.
|09.08.2016||Media report that Media Rights to Florida T-20s are awarded to Star and that Sony did not bid.
|No notice on website or details of bids and processes.|
|16.08.2016||Review Petitions filed by BCCI in Supreme Court kept in defects with Diary No.27369/2016[Annexure-V]
|Still left in defects as on 26.09.2016.
|20.08.2016||Email from SC Committee to CEO’s office seeking email details of State Associations and office bearers
|Reply from CEO dated 25.08.2016 seeking time till 1.9.2016.|
|Working Committee Meeting of BCCI:
1. Approves accounts of past year and budget of the coming year.
2. Domestic tournament schedule for 2016-2017 approved.
|Does not mention these facts in the Status Report filed later on 25.8.2016.|
|23.08.2016||Email to CEO’s office seeking copies of tenders and awards for the Florida T-20s
|Reply from CEO dated 25.08.2016 seeking time till 1.9.2016.|
|24.08.2016||ToI Report states that BCCI sold T-20 ground rights in Florida without a tender to Chennai based ‘Tech Front’;
|No Tender Notice on website|
|24.08.2016||Indian Express report cites leaked report from Secretary, BCCIto President, BCCI claiming that Secretary to the Committee said all national and state selectors seek sexual favours. Same day, some national selectors express outrage and IBN-TV18 carries a story claiming a “dent in the Committee”.
|Press Advisory issued by the Committee denying the stories.[Annexure-VI]
|25.08.2016||Indian Express quotes President, BCCI as saying that ‘Title Sponsorship Rights’ for the Florida T-20s have been awarded to PayTM
|No Tender Notice on website|
|25.08.2016||Secretary, BCCI emails First Progress Report [Annexure-VII] mentioning inter alia:
1. The SC Committee’s recommendations will bind only if review and curative petitions are dismissed
2. AGM to be conducted on 21.9.2016 to conduct “routine business”
3. EGM to be called around 25.9.2016 for adoption of new MoA
4. 6 members of Maharashtra and Gujarat to decide rotation among themselves
5. Next report to be sent in a fortnight
AGM proceeds well beyond routine business despite directions of the SC Committee.
EGM subsequently postponed to 30.9.2016, which is also the actual last day of the timeline, thereby making adoption in time impossible.
|25.08.2016||The SC Committee acknowledges receipt of progress report and reminder sent to BCCI to revert by 27.8.2016 as to whether States have been informed about keeping their elections on hold.
No intimation to member associations.
|25.08.2016||Email to the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association to keep elections on hold until the timelines are complied with.
|SC Committee decides as follows:
1. Direction to BCCI to restrict AGM only to routine business of 2015-2016 and nothing concerning 2016-2017.
2. To put up FAQs to clarify queries.
3. Second and Final set of Timelines drawn up.
4. Contact details of member associations to be ascertained to inform directly.
5. Compliance of all Tenders and Bids with transparency norms to be ascertained.
[Minutes are Annexure-VIII]
As directed by this Hon’ble Court, the Committee also took decisions on the issue of franchisee representation on the IPL Governing Council and decided to delete the provision for induction of the nominees of the franchisees in the IPL Governing Council by way of a Supplementary Report. [Annexure-IX]
Vide the Second Set of Timelines issued by the SC Committee [Annexure-X] it was directed that a separate AGM should be conducted as per the new norms.
|31.08.2016||Email from SC Committee to CEO, BCCI [Annexure-XI] directing:
1. AGM to be restricted only to routine business of 2015-2016 and not 2016-2017
2. Status of all bid and tender compliance to be submitted by 3.9.2016
3. Second set of Timelines to be sent to member associations by 3.9.2016 and confirmation to be communication
4. Supplementary Report also communicated
1. AGM almost solely deals with business of 2016-2017
2. No confirmation received of communication to member associations
|01.09.2016||Email from CEO, BCCI enclosing contact details of member associations
Separate Email from CEO, BCCI detailing the Bid and Tender compliances post the Judgment of 18.7.2016 showing that due to paucity of time, many parties were unable to participate.
|02.09.2016||Email from SC Committee to all member associations inviting their attention to earlier directions, the Timelines and the website where future notices would be uploaded. [Annexure-XII]
|03.09.2016||BCCI announces its domestic calendar at all levels for 2016-2017.
|Bihar, Puducherry and newly added North East states and Union Territories are not included.
|06.09.2016||SC Committee releases and uploads detailed FAQs to clarify issues raised by various parties[Annexure-XIII]
|10.09.2016||BCCI invites applicants for the post of Senior, Junior and Women National Selectors.
|The eligibility prescribed in the notice was not in conformity with the recommendations approved by this Hon’ble Court.
|12.09.2016||Interview aired by media with ICC CEO David Richardson showing that President BCCI had requested ICC to issue a letter stating that the intervention by this Hon’ble Court amounted to Governmental interference.
|13.09.2016||Several requests received by the SC Committee concerning the modalities of the Cricket Players’ Association||No initiative taken by BCCI despite Timelines
|17.09.2016||SC Committee receives BCCI Agenda for AGM dated 21.09.2016 [Annexure-XIV] from other sourceswhich disclosed the following agenda items:
1. The election of the Secretary
2. Adoption of budget for 2016-2017
3. Appointment of Auditor for 2016-2017
4. Appointment of Ombudsman for 2016-2017
5. Appointment of all Committees including Working Committee for 2016-2017.
|Almost all items in the Agenda are violations of the directions given by SC Committee on 31.08.2016 to limit decisions only to ‘routine matters’ for the year 2015-2016.
The Nomination Form [Annexure-XV] for the Secretary’s post requires an undertaking to be given by the candidate that he possesses the requisite eligibility for continuing till 2017.
|20.09.2016||Letter from Secretary BCCI to Members of SC Committee inter alia suggesting that notwithstanding the judgment of this Hon’ble Court and the directions of the SC Committee, the BCCI would take its own decisions regarding compliance.[Annexure-XVI]
|21.09.2016||BCCI conducts its AGM at which:
1. Selection Committees for Men, Women and Juniors are decided.
2. President and Secretary authorized to appoint new Ombudsman as per old norms.
3. Nominees to ICC meetings announced.
4. SGM to be held on 30th September “to consider amendments to Rules and Regulations” as recommended by the Committee
[Press Release of the AGM isAnnexure-XVII]
Decisions taken are contrary to the directions issued to the BCCI on 31.08.2016
|Meeting of the SC Committee where decision is taken to file Status Report before this Hon’ble Court seeking appropriate directions as impediments have arisen.
[Minutes of the Meeting are Annexure-XVIII]
- The SC Committee, by way of email dated 31.08.2016 had issued the following direction to BCCI in the context of the First Compliance Report submitted by the BCCI on 25.8.2016, wherein, it was stated that the AGM of the BCCI was proposed to be called on 21.9.2016 to transact ‘routine business’:
“The Committee now directs that this AGM be limited only to ‘routine business’ concerning the past year (2015-2016) and that any business or matters relating to the next year (2016-2017) be dealt with only after the adoption of the MoA and Rules as per the recommendations of the Committee in accordance with the same.”
The purpose of this direction was to ensure that the recommendations which had to be implemented are not circumvented by delaying the formal adoption of the MoA and Rules & Regulations by the BCCI by creating fait accompli.
Though the AGM was held on 21.9.2016, the minutes of the same have not been furnished to the SC Committee. The Committee learns from the Media Advisory dated 21.9.2016 uploaded on the website of the BCCI that the following decisions were taken in the meeting:
- The audited statement of accounts for the year ending 31stMarch 2016 and the budget for the year 2016-17 were approved.
- Mr. Ajay Shirke was unanimously elected as the Hony. Secretary of the BCCI for the remaining part of the term.
- The All-India Senior Selection Committee (Men & Women) is as following –
|Senior Selection Committee||Junior Selection Committee||Women’s Selection Committee|
|MSK Prasad – Chairman||Venkatesh Prasad – Chairman||Hemlata Kala – Chairperson|
|GaganKhoda||Rakesh Parikh||Shashi Gupta|
|Sarandeep Singh||Aashish Kapoor||Anjali Pendharkar|
|JatinParanjpe||Amit Sharma||Lopamudra Banerjee|
|Devang Gandhi||Gyanendra Pandey||Sudha Shah|
- The Working Committee, Standing Committee and Special Committees elected in 2015-16 were continued with vacancies being filled where necessary.
- As the term of Justice AP Shah, Ombudsman, appointed at the last AGM has come to an end, the House authorized the President and Hony. Secretary to appoint Ombudsman for the year 2016-17.
- Lt. Anurag Singh Thakur, President – BCCI, would represent BCCI in the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
Mr. Sharad Pawar was nominated as the alternate director for ICC meetings.
Mr. Ajay Shirke, Hony. Secretary – BCCI, will represent BCCI in the CEC meeting of the ICC.
- The House approved the proposal to take possession of alternate land offered by the Karnataka Government in lieu of the earlier land, which was allotted but not handed over at Bengaluru. The House also accepted the proposal of land being offered by the government of Himachal Pradesh in Dharamsala for the development of facilities for NCA.
- The emergent Special General Meeting of the BCCI will be held on 30thSeptember 2016 at 11 AM IST at the BCCI headquarters, Mumbai to consider the amendments to the rules and regulations of BCCI as recommended by Hon’ble Justice Lodha Committee.
The decisions Nos.2, 3, 5, 6 & 8 are in violation of the aforesaid directives issued by the SC Committee on 31.8.2016 and frustrates the implementation of this Hon’ble Court’s judgement.
- Apart from the above, the events narrated would reveal the following impediments:
- It was stated in the BCCI report dated 25.8.2016 that an EGM would be called “not later than 28th September” for the “formal adoption” of the new memorandum. The BCCI did not honour this assurance, and on the other hand, at the AGM of 21.9.2016 took decisions contrary to the said assurance by deciding that the EGM would be on 30th September “to consider” the amendments to the Rules and Regulations.
- The BCCI has not issued directives to the member associations despite the express directions from the SC Committee on at least 4 separate occasions.
- The Selectors of Men, Women and Junior cricket are announced contrary to the norms approved by this Hon’ble Court.
- The BCCI has prescribed an undertaking for nomination to the post of BCCI Secretary which is not in accordance with the norms approved by this Hon’ble Court.
- No second status report has been furnished although it was undertaken to do so within a fortnight after 25.8.2016.
- Despite continually claiming that all steps taken would be subject to the Review Petition filed, it transpires that the same is in defects with Diary No.27369/2016 even as of date, and there has been no effort to rectify the same and have it numbered and listed.
6. While the Office Bearers of the BCCI gave assurances to the SC Committee on 9.8.2016, 25.8.2016 and 20.9.2016 that they would cooperate with the Committee towards fulfilling the directions of this Hon’ble Court (subject to any modification or review), the events over the past weeks have shown that this is not the case. Directions of this Hon’ble Court have been ignored, actions have been taken to present a fait accompli to the Committee, the directives of the Committee have been breached, and member associations have not been duly intimated about the directions of the Committee and the timelines fixed by it.
7. Apart from the above clear transgressions, the BCCI has repeatedly taken steps to undermine the Committee and this Hon’ble Court, with several statements and actions which are grossly out of order and would even constitute contempt. Some of these are listed below:
a. The acceptance of the so-called Interim Report of Justice Katju and the uploading of the same on the BCCI website. This Report carries the following remarks:
- Such a precedent of the Supreme Court as this case would enable all judges be it in the Supreme Court or the High Court to completely disregard statutory enactments and constitutional provisions and pass orders and direction at their whims and fancies completely unsupported by law. Such direction would be flagrantly illegal, null and void ab-initio.
- In its desire, like Hercules, to clean the cricketing Augean stables, should the Supreme Court act, First Report of the Justice Katju Commission to the BCCI Page 29 of 43 to use Justice Cardozo‟s words, like a “Knight Errant roaming at will in pursuit of his own ideal of beauty and goodness”?
- This would then be the subjective view and opinion of individual judges not based on legal principles. This is what the Supreme Court bench and the Lodha Committee have done – imposed their subjective opinion contrary to what is expressly permitted by law. There cannot be any tyranny of the unelected in our constitutional scheme.
- A reading of the above and other recommendations show that the Lodha Committee has run amuck in the missionary zeal of a Crusader brushing aside all laws and rules to fulfil its holy aim and obtaining the Holy Grail.
- Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian Knot in its uninhibited and unbridled frenzy, the committee has cast aside all principles of the Constitution, the law and propriety and is conducting a witch hunt.
- In my considered opinion, the Lodha Committee went clearly overboard in its desire to seek popularity and play to the galleries like a Knight in Shining Armour and blazing sword battling demons and monsters to win public acclaim and cheers. It has transgressed all norms of legality and propriety unmindful of the havoc it has caused and is causing.
- The order of 18.7.2016 is nothing but an unwarranted attempt by the Court at the behest of the Lodha Committee at enacting legislation which tramples upon the rights of citizens and associations and seriously impinges on the legislative functions of not only Parliament but also respective State Assemblies.
- The Lodha Committee is behaving like Don Quixote fighting with the wind mills, and like an unbridled horse with a bit in its teeth at full gallop crushing and trampling all obstacles in its path.
- In the Times of India report dated 06.08.2016, it is reported that Justice Thakur stated in open Court in a case relating to All India Football Federation [AIFF] that this football body may require “the BCCI treatment‟. Is it proper for a judge particularly a judge who is the Chief Justice of India to speak like this in court? Should there be no self-restraint by the Judges of the Superior Courts? Should now a witch hunt begin against the AIFF also?
- In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” there was a character called the Queen of Hearts. Whenever she sees anybody, she shouts “off with his head”. When someone said what about first issuing a charge sheet, holding a trial and giving a verdict, she replied “all that can come later, first off with his head.” I regret to say that the Supreme Court bench as well as the Lodha Committee have behaved like the Queen of Hearts.
b. The Press Conference organised by the BCCI where Justice Katju made several derogatory remarks about the members of the judiciary and of this Committee.
c. Release of a letter to the press where the Secretary BCCI implies that remarks were made at the Committee’s meeting of 9.8.2016 which projected the selectors as “depraved and despicable”.
d. Despite several emails sent to the President BCCI as well as a direction to appear on 9.8.2016, there has been not a single response by him to the Committee. He has also requested the ICC to issue a letter stating that this Committee amounts to Governmental interference. In addition, over the course of the last few weeks, several very objectionable statements have been made by him to the press which undermine this Hon’ble Court and this Committee. These include the following:
- Thakur: ‘With BCCI sidelined, there can be no future for cricket’ [Sportstar Sep 18, 2016]
He even invited the Justice Lodha and his team to “come and see the amount of work BCCI does, how it has grown over a period of time with a lot of transparency and accountability” in the upcoming domestic season since the panel “has been unable to visit the state associations and the BCCI headquarters and has met only in five-star hotels”.
- ShashankManohar left behind a sinking ship, says BCCI president Anurag Thakur [PTI Sep 10, 2016]
“The ICC shows concern when there’s outside interference in countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal but has been quiet when there’s been interference in BCCI. We are being arm-twisted at home and in ICC,” Thakur indicated at Lodha Committee reforms.
- Thakur pressurising Manohar for place in ICC’s finance committee before October [DNA Sep 10, 2016]
As if this is not enough, BCCI top officials have also been putting pressure on ICC to issue a letter “threatening sanctions and suspension from the world cricket if there is any intervention from either government or judiciary”.
- Efforts are being made to cut BCCI’s roots: Anurag Thakur on Lodha reforms deadline [PTI Aug 12, 2016]
With the BCCI facing Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel’s deadline on implementing major reforms in the world’s richest cricket body, its president Anurag Thakur on Friday said that people who had not played the game were trying to administer it.
“People who have never even played the game, they are trying to govern the board. Efforts are being made to cut BCCI’s roots,” said Thakur in his address as chief guest of an event organised by the PHD Chamber in New Delhi.
8. With as many as 7 of the Timelines to be complied with by 30.9.2016, it is now clear that the BCCI is in no position to ensure that the timelines mandated to be laid down by this Hon’ble Court are complied with. The conduct of the Office Bearers of the BCCI in not following the directions of the SC Committee has created serious impediments in the implementation of the directions of this Hon’ble Court.
9. The present Report is restricted to the non-compliance by the BCCI, and does not deal with the conduct of the State Associations. If the need arises, as regards the State Associations, a further status report will be submitted.
10. In view of all the above, the Committee seeks the following directions from this Hon’ble Court:
- Supersede the present Office Bearers of the BCCI with immediate effect; and appoint in their place a Panel of Administrators of the BCCI to ensure the smooth transition from the old to the new system recommended by the Committee; and
- Direct that all decisions of the BCCI taken after 18.7.2016 which are contrary to the judgment dated 18.7.2016 of this Hon’ble Court and/or the directives of the SC Committee for implementing the same are non est and ineffective; and
- Any other direction as may be deemed fit for the implementation of the judgement dated 18.7.2016;
Justice Ashok Bhan