Legalise betting, drop ministers from Team BCCI: Lodha panel

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2018


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Wants Board brought under RTI, only one association per State

In a series of sweeping recommendations to clean up cricket in India, the Justice RM Lodha Committee has called for betting to be legalised, politicians and government servants to be barred from holding posts in cricket boards, a separate governing council for the IPL, and for the Board of Control for Cricket in India to be brought under the purview of the RTI Act.

The panel has also recommended structural changes to the BCCI, including having only one cricketing association per State; Maharashtra and Gujarat, for instance, have three.

Each State association is to have voting rights as a full member of the Board for “equitable voting patterns”. Other existing associations would continue as associate members.

The Supreme Court-appointed committee was mandated to suggest reforms to the game passionately followed by millions of Indians after a series of controversies brought it into disrepute.

Ball in SC’s court

Asked if the recommendations are binding on the BCCI, Justice Lodha told the media that “the Committee has submitted its report…the Supreme Court will decide whether it is binding.”

He said that the effort of the committee was to ensure that the autonomy of the BCCI is not affected while seeking a cure to its ailments and restoring the glory of the game. The committee believes the BCCI should be brought under the RTI Act as it performs public functions and people have right to access information.

It has also recommended that BCCI office-bearers should be Indian, not over 70, should not be a minister or a government servant, and will have fixed three-year tenures. It, however, wants a cooling-off period after each term, and no member to be allowed to contest more than three times. It has also mooted the setting up of a players’ association.

One State, one unit

“With the interactions we have had, it was broadly represented to us that one State as a unit of representation in the BCCI is a very fair idea,” said Lodha. The committee has recommended that the BCCI general body, which will have law-making powers, have 30 full members representing each State as well as seven associate members.

To separate governance from management, the committee has suggested that the 14-member working committee be replaced by a nine-member apex council. Of these, five will be BCCI office-bearers: the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer. Of the remaining four, two will be representatives of the players’ association (one man and one woman), one to be nominated by the general body, and the fourth a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office.

Simultaneously, it has recommended a separate nine-member governing council for the Indian Premier League answerable to the general body. Lodha said the idea is to provide limited autonomy for the IPL.

The panel has given a clean chit to former IPL COO Sundar Raman, citing lack of evidence against him in the spot-fixing scandal.

The committee has also recommended appointment of an ombudsman to resolve grievances and an ethics officer to look into issues of conflict of interest.

Published on January 04, 2016

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