NEW DELHI: BCCI is an autonomous body and it cannot micro-manage its operation, observed the Supreme Court which also asked the country’s top cricket body on Tuesday why it wanted people over the age of 70 to represent the nation in the ICC.
The supreme court’s remarks were made during the hearing on the Council’s plea to amend its constitution regarding the tenure of its office bearers, including its chairman Sourav Ganguly and secretary. Jay Shah by removing the mandatory cooling-off period between terms of office for members of the state cricket associations and the BCCI.
The High Court, which said the cooling-off period will not be waived between terms of office, because “the purpose of the cooling-off period is that there should be no vested interests”, said that he would continue the hearing on Wednesday and pass order.
In accordance with the constitution adopted by the BCCI, a member of the office must undergo a cooling-off period of three years between two consecutive terms in the state association or the BCCI or the two combined.
Initially, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the BCCI, told a bench of judges DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli, that the game of cricket is being streamlined considerably in the country.
He argued that the supreme court said that when the regulations go into functional preparation, certain changes could be made with the permission of the court.
He said the BCCI is an autonomous body and all changes have been reviewed by the cricket body’s AGM.
As the submission was made, the bench said, “BCCI is an autonomous body. We cannot micro-manage its operation.”
Mehta said: “As the constitution exists today, there is a cooling off period. If I am a member of the state cricket association board for one term and BCCI for another consecutive term, then I have to opt for a period of reflection”.
He added that the two bodies are different and their rules are also different and that two consecutive terms of office holder is too short to develop leadership at grassroots level.
The Solicitor General said, “Leadership develops at the local level and it stays in the state association. By the time it is time to be elevated to BCCI, it must undergo a mandatory three-year reflection period. cannot become a member of the BCCI if he is not an active member of the state association”.
He said, adding that the holding of the post in the state association by a member of the BCCI office should not be taken into account for the cooling-off period.
As comments were made, Judge Chandrachud cautioned: “We are engaging in discussion and not passing judgement. Social media thinks everything we say in court is judgment, but it’s just a dialogue to elicit a response and a better understanding of the facts.”
The bench said a member of the office of the state association cannot therefore hold a position in the BCCI, without undergoing a three-year cooling-off period in accordance with the current constitution.
Mehta said the court’s concern is that no one should be in charge permanently in the cricket corps and that concern has been addressed by suggesting a cooling-off period, after two consecutive terms in BCCI, so that the experience of “worthy administrators” is not lost.
He said the second amendment relates to the 70-year restriction on the board for representation on the International Cricket Council, which the BCCI wants to remove.
The bench said: “Why should we have people over 70, let young people represent the country at the ICC? We are not saying that people over 70 have not done an exemplary job, but it’s a sport. We have our Attorney General, who is over 70, there are doctors over 70 who are doing exemplary work in their field.”
Mehta said: “The ICC is a council where it is decided which country gets how much funding. There are heavy negotiations between veterans of cricket bodies around the world. My young man will have to take care of these veterans, who have 30-40 years of experience in dealing with cricket”.
He added that there is no restriction anywhere on the age of representation at the ICC in any part of the world.
The bench said: “Do you mean that the Australian Cricket Board or the England and Wales Cricket Board have no age limit for representation at the ICC? Show us the registered documents. We have no document before us about it. . You place it”.
The bench said it would continue with its hearing on Wednesday and asked amicus curiae lead counsel Maninder Singh to piece together all the details.
The bench said it would pass the order.
Singh suggested that if a person has served a three-year term as a state association board member and then continues to serve as a BCCI board member, then he should be allowed to serve for two consecutive six-year terms. into the cricketing corps without having to pass a mandatory three-year cooling-off period.
The BCCI, in its proposed amendment, called for the abolition of a cooling-off period for its office bearers, which would allow Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah to continue to exercise their functions as president and secretary although they have spent six years in the respective state cricket associations.
Previously, the committee headed by Justice RM Lodha had recommended reforms to the BCCI which were accepted by the Supreme Court.



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