BCCI can’t claim to act as an association, says the Supreme Court of India
A special bench comprising Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and Justice FMI Kalifullah said that the BCCI and its member associations should fall in line with the recommendations made by Justice Lodha committee.
However, on behalf of member associations of the BCCI, advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind P Datar have opposed the idea of one association, one vote, as was proposed by the Lodha panel.
"You are discharging a public duty. In doing so, can you discriminate? You have full sway over cricket in the country. You also seem to have some kind of state patronage, otherwise the state would have regulated you," Justice Thakur said.
The CJI had said this after Datar had argued for the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's right to conduct its own affairs, acting as a free association.
"No one can play cricket without being on the BCCI's right hand side. You have a monopoly. You also have a full sway over membership," Justice Thakur said.
He said, "You are not giving up this right to control cricket. You are insisting that you can select team India, the Ranji teams. In that case can you say I will only associate with one body and not the other? Can you say I will take in one association and not the other? You have to let everyone in and give them equal opportunities."
The CJI also added that the Lodha panel measures don’t suggest any restriction of the rights of the BCCI or its member associations, but in fact, they were only proposals to open up membership to more regions and people.
"Cricket is a game of glamour. Every other youngster is aspiring to become Dhonis and Kohlis. The associations must also fall in line and accept these reforms," he said.
Moreover, the CJI added that even the International Cricket Council had a one nation, one vote policy. "Sri Lanka is just the half of Delhi. Don't you think in ICC regardless of population, different countries have one vote? If it can work with the international body can't it work for BCCI?" he said.
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