The BCCI on Tuesday rushed to the Supreme Court seeking disbursal of funds to the state cricket associations, saying the non-disbursal would lead to cancellation of the India Vs England first Test match to be played between at Rajkot on Wednesday. The bench, including Justices AR Dave and AM Khanwilkar, said it will examine the matter with Chief Justice TS Thakur amid the day and the CJI will accept a call when to hear the BCCI plea. The CJI, who has been heading the bench listening to matters relating to execution of the proposals given by Justice RM Lodha board, is as of now holding a seven-judge constitution bench.
“There is a problem in holding the Test match commencing from tomorrow. We cannot release funds. There is an order of the Supreme Court asking state cricket associations to file undertakings that they will comply with the Lodha panel recommendations. This has not been done so far,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for BCCI, said.
If money is not given, then the match will be cancelled on Wednesday, Sibal said when Justice Dave said he will discuss with CJI during lunch to explore the possibility as to whether the plea can be heard on Wednesday.
“You (Lodha panel) can proceed in contempt but you cannot stall the matches,” Sibal said highlighting the reality the disbursal of the assets to the state cricket affiliation was key for holding cricket match amongst India and England.
The bench, after the brief hearing, requested that BCCI say the matter again at 2 PM before it.
A month ago, the Supreme Court split its whip against a “defiant and obstructionist” BCCI, its leader Anurag Thakur and GM (cricket operation) Ratnakar Shetty for “undermining” the Justice R M Lodha board’s bearings and requested the money rich body to quit dispensing assets to state units till they submitted to its proposals on changes in “letter and spirit”.
The Apex court, which cautioned the BCCI against “precipitating” the issue, had additionally coordinated Thakur to clarify by filing “personal affidavit” the allegation whether he had solicited the CEO from the ICC to express that the arrangement of Justice Lodha Committee was equivalent to government obstruction in the working of the BCCI“.
Shetty, a long-standing cricket head and General Manager (Admin and Game improvement) at BCCI, was additionally guided by the top court to confess all by setting on record a copy of the authorisation/determination passed by the BCCI on the premise of which he has documented the affidavit supporting the reaction of the BCCI to the status report.
Both Anurag Thakur and Shetty were guided by the apex court to r file separate affidavits inside 10 days before the matter is taken up for further hearing on October 17.
A seat headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur noticed the submission of BCCI that the cricket body has gotten Rs 2500 crore towards remuneration because of termination of Champion League T-20 tournament, out of which Rs 16.73 crore each stayed to be given to state bodies after disbursal of sums towards taxes and different liabilities
The bench had said the sequence of events after July 18, which are referred to in the status report, “prima facie give an impression that BCCI has far from lending its fullest cooperation to the Committee, adopted an obstructionist and at times a defiant attitude which the Committee has taken note of and described as an impediment, undermining not only the Committee but even the dignity of this Court, with several statements and actions which according to the Committee are grossly out of order and may even constitute contempt”.
It directed that “no further amount in terms of the Resolution passed in AGM on November 9, 2015, or any subsequent resolution by the BCCI or its Working Committee shall be disbursed to any State Association except where the State Association concerned passes a proper resolution to the effect that it is agreeable to undertake and to support the reforms as proposed and accepted by this Court in letter and spirit”.
India will play its First test match against England Tomorrow in Rajkot. Now let’s see what will happen. Stay tuned for more updates regarding this.