We will be heard now, thanks to SC: BCCI state organs

NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court asking amicus curiae PS Narasimha to look into the issues faced by the state associations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday, the bench of Justices SA Bobde and AM Sapre have set the ball rolling. While the bench is looking at a quick disposal of the BCCI matter, the state bodies believe that their grievances will finally be addressed.

A senior state association official said that the move by the bench would finally see correct decisions being made as the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had been affected by incorrect advice that led to further conflict than reaching a resolution.

"The grievances of the state associations are diverse, but most flow from a few decisions of the CoA taken prior to the induction of Lt. Col Thodge into the committee. The atmosphere of positivity that has descended upon this litigation promises a quick resolution since the CoA had been plagued by incorrect advice. The introduction of the new amicus curiae has lent an air of pragmatism to the litigation. This is the way forward for a justiciable resolution," he said.

While there have been quite a few issues that have bothered the state bodies, one of the major issues as per one of the state association officials is the drafting of the new constitution which isn't in accordance with the draft constitution as proposed by the Lodha panel.

"The first and foremost being the decision of the CoA to file a draft constitution before the SC which was not in accordance with Justice Lodha's draft constitution as approved by the court. The SC had specifically stated that the draft constitution to be submitted was to be strictly in accordance with the constitution as proposed by Justice Lodha and accepted by the Supreme Court. So first, the deviations in the CoA's draft constitution are the epicenter of most of the grievances," he said.

Echoing the sentiments, another state association official said that the CoA's interpretation of the court's order for the constitution of the state bodies to be a "mirror" image of the BCCI constitution further complicated matters.

"The order dated August 9 wherein the state associations were required to undertake amendments to their constitutions on 'similar lines' has been interpreted in a somewhat draconian manner by the CoA. It would appear to mean that the constitutions ought to be mirror images of the BCCI constitution when the BCCI constitution itself requires the state associations to fulfill a criteria clearly mentioned in the constitution, some parts of which are also under challenge as violative of Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution," the official explained.

Another state association official also pointed at the drying up of funds and said that it was an important area that needs immediate attention as the lack of funds is a deterrent for the smooth organization of cricket matches. "The restriction on the flow of the associations' own funds had all but brought the development of the game of cricket at the grassroots level to a standstill and this empathetic view will potentially bring an end to this unfortunate stalemate," he said.

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