The process to address the vexed issue of three Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers, who are refusing to "cool off" despite a board constitution mandated by the highest court of the country, started in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. (More Cricket News)
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice L. Nageswar Rao, disposed of several sundry matters, leaving the most important BCCI petition and its interrelated applications to be adjudicated on January 20.
Sourav Ganguly, Jay Shah and Jayesh George continue to function as BCCI's president, secretary and joint-secretary respectively despite their tenures being 'officially' over earlier this year.
"Given the number of cases afflicting cricket in India, the bench has started the cleansing process. A BCCI petition asking for sweeping changes in the new board constitution will be addressed accordingly," said a senior lawyer who attended Wednesday's virtual court.
A slew of cricketing matters were classified into four buckets by the amicus curiae on Wednesday. Some issues were listed as either "infructuous" or "successfully mediated."
Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah during the IPL 2020 in UAE. Photo: BCCI
The focus is now on "contesting interlocutory applications" that includes 14 petitions from state bodies like Tamil Nadu and Haryana and institutions like the Army, Railways and the Universities. Each of them are challenging the Lodha committee recommendations in some form or the other.
In an audacious petition filed in May this year, the cricket board wanted the Supreme Court to amend six clauses in the new BCCI constitution that was passed by former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in August 2018.
It is on the basis of this petition that Ganguly, Shah and George have been continuing as BCCI office-bearers. All three are supposed to "cool off" having each served six years continuously at a state association or the BCCI.
Lawyer Vikas Mehta, representing the Cricket Association of Bihar, said the Supreme Court's direction will settle a lot of pending issues and make BCCI proactive in its operation.
Mehta pointed out that Bihar's appeal for an ad-hoc committee was upheld on October 17 by the BCCI Apex Council but is yet to be executed.
The BCCI AGM will be held on December 24. It will be presided by Ganguly. It will elect one vice-president and two members of the Governing Council.
The AGM will also decide on important matters like new teams in IPL from 2021 and the upcoming home series against England.
It is learnt that Kolkata, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad will be the three venues for the England series where bio-bubbles will be created.
The Supreme Court will break for Christmas and New Year from December 21 to January 3. With a packed cricket schedule ahead in the new year, the apex court's decision on BCCI's defiant officials will be worth watching.
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