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BCCI to be led again by elected office bearers, SC asks CoA members to demit office

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: October 22, 2019  | 20:53 IST

New Delhi, Oct 22 (PTI) The BCCI will now be again run by its elected representatives as the Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by former CAG Vinod Rai, to demit office as its "purpose and object" will end after elected office bearers assume charge tomorrow. The direction assumes significance as on January 30, 2017 the apex court had appointed the 4-member CoA to run the affairs of the BCCI and implement the court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in it. "The purpose and the object for appointing a CoA will end upon the assumption of charge by the elected Office Bearers of BCCI. The election is scheduled for tomorrow that is October 23," a bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is all set to become BCCI President on Wednesday, and his office bearers would be at the helm of the affairs. "In the circumstances, we pass the following directions. The CoA shall demit office upon the assumption of office by the elected office bearers of the BCCI," it said. "They (CoA members) shall stand discharged of all their obligations thereafter." The bench provided a safeguard to the CoA chairperson Rai and its two members, former woman cricketer Diana Idulji and Lt General Ravi Thogde, from any possible action from the elected representatives of the BCCI for the acts done by them in running the affairs of the cricket body. "They (CoA members) shall be immune from action in respect of any acts performed by them as a Committee of Administrators in good faith. No proceedings shall be initiated against any members of the said Committee individually or the Committee jointly without leave of this court," it said. The bench also protected the officers, who acted at the behest of the CoA, and said that even they will enjoy immunity and the prior nod of the court would be a pre-condition for initiating any action against them. The top court also directed that BCCI to bear "all costs and expenses" which have been incurred by CoA and the Electoral Officers and the expenses also include "costs towards legal representations in the present proceedings or any other proceedings that have been or may be initiated against them with regard to discharge of their functions as a CoA and Electoral Officers respectively". The bench, while approving the proposal for the remuneration of the CoA, said that the money be paid within to them within 48 hours towards discharge of their duties. It asked the BCCI to pay Rs 10 lakh per month as remuneration to the CoA for 2017 and the committee will be given Rs 11 lakh per month for 2018. For 2019, the CoA will be paid Rs 12 lakh per month and the money will be paid within 48 hours, the court said. The BCCI will have to pay for "business class air travel, AC first class train travel and "air conditioned vehicle for local transport" to the CoA members, it said, adding that the CoA members will also be provided accommodation for overnight stay by the cricket body. "The Registrar under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act shall take on record the audited Accounts of BCCI for the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 as confirmed and approved by the CoA. Any objection pertaining to the correctness of the audited Accounts shall be dealt with in accordance with law," the bench said. The bench also appreciated the "cooperation rendered by the various cricket associations" to the CoA in carrying out the functions of BCCI. "We also place on record our appreciation for the able assistance rendered by (senior lawyer) P S Narasimha, Amicus Curiae, to this court and the BCCI". When one of the advocates, appearing for a Rajasthan District Cricket association, raised the issue of elections being held contrary to the apex court's directions, the bench said, "except the game of cricket, there is everything else here". The court has now posted the matter for hearing on November 27. The apex court had earlier brushed aside all resistance of the BCCI office bearers and had appointed the CoA headed by Rai to run the affairs of the cricketing body and implement the court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body. Besides Rai, famous cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development Fiance Company (IDFC) and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji were part of the CoA. The bench had directed that the CoA would interact with the CEO of BCCI for supervision and functioning of the cricket Board. Later Guha and Limaye resigned. The court then appointed Lt General Thogde into the CoA. The CoA was tasked with the job of implementing the constitution of the BCCI which was framed keeping in mind the reforms suggested by the Justice R M Lodha panel. Prior to this, the apex court had accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI and betting on the game should be legalised. It had also accepted the recommendations of the Committee headed by retired Chief Justice of India Justice R M Lodha to have a CAG nominee in BCCI. PTI SJK ABA MNL SA

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