BCCI & Indian Judiciary

Must Read

India’s International ‘Retrospective Taxation’ Regime Vis-a-Vis PCA Rulings in Vodafone and Cairn in 2020

The imposition of retrospective taxation of foreign companies doing business in India has been at the helm of controversy...

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Follow us

Introduction

The game of the colonial rulers has made path-breaking achievements in modern India. Yes, it is directed towards the growing influence of cricket in India;the country lives and breathes cricket since times immemorial. The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup made a huge impact, and further boosted the popularity of the game. Cricket, unlike any other sport, has gained vast popularity in India, but it is not yet safe from the influence of money and politics. The issue of political intervention in the sporting activities has hindered the growth of sports in the country, and has made it uncompetitive at the international level.

Mumbai: BCCI President Anurag Thakur with the States’ Cricket Associations’ members and officials at the 87th AGM of BCCI at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shashank Parade (PTI9_21_2016_000079B)

The allegations of fixing, spot-fixing, match-fixing and corruption have made the youth of the country skeptical to opt for it as a profession. The gentlemen’s sport has been contaminated due to the ongoing corrupt and unscrupulous activities and influential people have used it as a means to find lucrative business opportunities. The growing political influence has been challenged on various spheres, but in the forefront, judicial activism challenged this political intervention. The story began with the advent of the Indian Premier League, which was widely promoted, and brought the elite classes under one spectrum. The flow of money was uncalculated, and this was the major business opportunity in the field of sports. The stadiums flooded with the presence of spectators, big endorsements were involved, young talents were promoted, but all this glamour hid the conspiracy. The practices of spot-fixing started to be undertaken, allegations of money laundering were often raised. This led to the judicial activism to reform the game. The Bihar Cricket Association filing the case against the practice of spot-fixing was a major breakthrough. The absconding of Lalit Modi and various allegations cleared the picture, and led to the constitution of the three member committee under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India, R. M.Lodha, famously known as theLodha Committee.

Overview of the Recommendations

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India constituted the committee to provide recommendations for the reformation of the game. The sole purpose of the committee was to examine the issues of spot-fixing and other unscrupulous activities, and provide valuable recommendations so that an efficient mechanism could be established to tackle the menace. The committee was headed by former CJI R. M.Lodha, alongwith two other members, Justice Ashok Bhan and R. V.Raveendran. The committee conducted extensive research to ensure the purity of the game, and laid down some recommendations. One of the prime recommendations was to reduce the political influence, and restructure the functioning of the BCCI.  The Committee primarily recommended to bring the Board within the ambit of Right to Information, to make it more citizen friendly, and the appointment of auditors to make the accounts of the BCCI known to the general public. The Committee also stressed upon the establishment of One State One Vote, which would bring the non-cricketing states of the country in the framework of the decision making, and would also lead to the promotion of the sport.

The major recommendation was related to the menace of Spot-fixing, and regulation of the affairs of the Indian Premier League. Pertaining to the first aspect, the Committee emphasised upon the promulgation of the legislation to regulate such activities, and also provided a forward-looking recommendation to legalise betting. With respect to the Indian Premier League, the Committee recommended for the establishment of the Indian Premier League Council, and separate the bodies to ensure its independence. The Hon’ble Apex Court wholeheartedly welcomed the recommendations, as these were also widely applauded by the public. The attempt was to rejuvenate the cricketing spirit in the country by providing it with the sanctity it earlier had. The recommendation changed the wind, and it was a step forward to reform the game. But, this led to another controversy between the political camps on one hand and the judiciary on the other. Some considered it to be judicial overreach. It was very evident that the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee was not appreciated by the Board, and this led to the emergence of a chain of events widening the gap between the Board and the Court.

BCCI v Court

The judgment of the Hon’ble Court was seen as a new dawn for cricket in India. But, the political spectrum indulged into dilatory practices to delay the process. The richest board of the world didn’t want to lose the grip upon the affairs, and filed review against the judgment of the court. But, the Bench headed by Chief Justice T. S. Thakur, rejected the petition by stating that no error apparent was found in its judgment. The Board thereafter welcomed majority of the recommendations, but disputed upon some points such as One State One Vote, Cooling off period for three years, age limit of 70 years etc. The matter was further heard, but the Court, adamant in its opinion, warned the BCCI to “fall in line otherwise we will make you fall in line”. The statement received mixed reactions. As the supporters of the judgment called it the determined and independent judiciary, others stated it as judicial overreach. But, in the public opinion, the judiciary is simply trying to bring out the clean image of the game. The attempt to revolutionise the game can often be related to the ideas of the revolutionaries like ‘people talk about change, but they are accustomed to the system, and if any change comes they start to tremble’. Such is the state of the present day system. The independence of the game from political intervention was always talked about, but an attempt at the same is labelled as judicial overreach.

But the Apex Court seems to be determined and has not allowed any delay. It has taken serious cognizance of the non-compliance. The Lodha Panel also recommended banks to stop disbursing funds to the Board and start sacking office-bearers owing to continuous non-compliance. The Apex Court had warned of perjury and contempt proceedings against Anurag Thakur for non-compliance of the order of the court. The Hon’ble Judge cautioned that any attempt to mislead the court and delay the process would be considered contempt of court. The Hon’ble Judge further stated that freedom does not mean to wilfully non-comply with the order of the court. But, the long-standing dispute took the drastic turn on Jan 2, 2017, when the Hon’ble Court finally took a step having far-reaching effect by ordering the removal of Anurag Thakur for being defiant and stalling on the reforms recommended by the Panel.

Conclusion

 The issue has not been resolved yet, but the drastic and bold steps of the Court have surely raised many eyebrows. The Court has presented its determined will and authority, and has clearly indicated that any obstruction to disobey the law of the land would not be tolerated and strict measures will be taken. There are murmurs that if the Court is willing to interfere in the affairs of the Board, then the Court must regulate it by breaching the autonomy of the Board. But, the actual fact is not about judicial activism or judicial overreach, but the core crux lies upon the reformation of the game in a bid to uphold its sanctity.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

SC: Under-21 Convicts Can Be Given Less Than Minimum Sentence, Resorts To Probation of Offenders Act

The Supreme Court resorted to the Probation of Offenders Act to sidestep the mandate under Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code that mentions a sentence of not less than 7 years to those convicted of armed robbery, to give a chance to two young convicts to reform their lives.

Environment Protection Act Passed at the Instance of Foreign Powers: NHAI in Karnataka HC

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) claimed in a submission that the Environment Protection Act 1986 was passed not only for the protection of the environment by the parliament but also at the instance of foreign powers. This statement was made while referring to a UN conference and got the NHAI into great trouble in the Karnataka High Court.

Delhi High Court To Implement a Hybrid System Through Virtual and Physical Hearing

On Friday the Delhi High Court said that they have initiated steps to implement a mode wherein hearing can be done by virtual as well as physical mode. The Delhi High Court is aiming to implement the Hybrid mode. It stated that when the particular bench is conducting a virtual hearing the lawyer may opt for this mode after giving prior intimation about the same.

Mercy Plea of Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case To Be Decided in Four Weeks, TN Governor To Supreme Court

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of one of the convicts serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, AG Perarivalan will be taken within four weeks. The petition has been pending with the Governor since December 30, 2015.

Bombay High Court Questions FIR Over Journalist Alleged of Communist Comment on WhatsApp

An FIR lodged against the editor of Marathi newspaper, Rajkumar Chhajed has been questioned by the Bombay High Court. The Maharashtra Police has accused Chhajed of creating a rift between the two communities based on a WhatsApp message.

Allahabad High Court Expresses Dissatisfaction on Counsels Seeking Unnecessary Adjournments

The petition had been filed by Smt. Radha prayed to issue directions to Judicial Magistrate-I in Faizabad. The petition sought a speedy decision in...

[Delhi Riots] When the IT Ministry Calls Us, We Will Go Says Harish Salve To Delhi High Court

The Vice President and Managing Director of Facebook, Ajit Mohan told the Supreme Court that when the representatives of the company are called by the Information Technology Ministry they will come and record their statements.

Allahabad High Court Seeks Response on Compensation of Cutting Trees From National Highways Authority of India (Nhai) 

The Order had come in the form of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a bunch of law students in Uttar Pradesh. The...

Doctrine of Proportionality Must Adhere to Reasonableness Principal Test: Madras High Court

Young Men's Christian Association built a commercial complex and leased it without having due permission. The District Collector & Tahsildar issued a show-cause notice...

Delhi High Court Refuses To Stay Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on the OTT Platform Netflix

A plea requesting a stay on the release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ by the American producer, John Hart Jr. alleging copyright violation was rejected by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -