Dealing a body blow to BCCI’s financial muscle, the Supreme Court on Friday said the cricketing body cannot enter into contracts above a certain value that will now be fixed by the Lodha panel.
SC froze all financial transactions between the BCCI and state cricket associations by directing the apex cricket body not to disburse any funds, even for the match purposes, to them till they resolved to abide by the Justice R M Lodha panel recommendations on reforms.
The apex court also directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to give undertaking on affidavit, before the Lodha panel and in apex court by December 3, stating how much time they would need to implement reforms.
A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L. Nageswara Rao asked Lodha panel to appoint independent auditors to scrutinise all BCCI accounts.
The judgment, which was pronounced by Justice D Y Chandrachud, also directed the Lodha panel to ask the auditors to scrutinise the high-value contracts given by BCCI.
It directed the Lodha panel to fix a ceiling of high- value contracts of BCCI to be scruutinised by the auditors.
The bench also asked the panel secretary to send a copy of the apex court order to the ICC chairman Shashank Manohar.
The apex court, on October 17, had reserved its order on
implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations for massive structural reforms in the cash-rich sports body.
The court had asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur and its General Manager (Cricket Operation) Ratnakar Shetty to explain the allegation that ICC CEO Dave Richardson was asked by BCCI to issue a letter that Lodha panel's directions tantamount to government interference.
Defending the two cricket administrators, senior advocate Kapil Sibal has said "BCCI is being portrayed as a villain. It's like all wrong things are happening due to BCCI".
The bench had noted that Thakur in his affidavit had made a reference that Manohar had expressed his views that the appointment of CAG nominee in the apex council would amount to governmental interference before that stand was rejected by the apex court in July 18 verdict.
The apex court had perused the affidavits filed by Thakur and Shetty in which the 41-year-old BCCI President had outrightly denied having asked ICC CEO Dave Richardson to state that the appointment of 3-member committee headed by former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha committee would "tantamount to government interference" in BCCI's functioning.
The bench had noted that Shetty in his affidavit had said that no letter was sought from the ICC CEO as was alleged.
The apex court had on October 7 directed Thakur to explain by filing a "personal affidavit", the allegation "whether he had asked the CEO of the ICC to state that the appointment of Justice Lodha Committee was tantamount to government interference in the working of the BCCI".
It had ordered that no further amounts should be disbursed to state associations by BCCI, except where the State Association concerned passes a resolution saying it is agreeable to undertake and support the reforms as proposed and accepted by this Court in letter and spirit.
The apex court had said the 13 State Associations, to whom the payment has already been disbursed, shall not appropriate the amount, except after they have passed a resolution to abide by reforms suggested.
How do you get the richest cricket body in the world to fall in line? By controlling it's finances, of course.
More to follow