BCCI, RM Lodha Committee At Odds Over Constitution (Part 1)

By Dhanu Delphi on November 12, 2019

The BCCI went through a major overhaul after the Supreme Court instructed the RM Lodha Committee to make a thorough review of the policies and practices of the most powerful cricket body in international cricket. The RM Lodha Committee put forward a number of significant changes and the Supreme Court instructed the BCCI to amend its constitution to incorporate those changes for the better of India cricket.

New BCCI Panel Wants Multiple Changes

The new BCCI panel is led by President Sourav Ganguly. It has decided that a number of amendments need to be made to the existing constitution to make the BCCI more effective. Some of the proposed amendments include giving the BCCI secretary complete authority, changing the cool-off period for the BCCI office bearers and amending the disqualification criteria. Also, in preventing the Supreme Court from interfering if the BCCI decides to amend its constitution at any time.

The newly elected board decided to put together a long list of amendments. This could result in the tenure of President Sourav Ganguly being extended. As it stands, Ganguly has less than a year to serve as BCCI President. The list of draft amendments along with an annual general meeting (AGM) notice was sent to all state associations on November 09 by BCCI secretary Jay Shah. He is the son of home minister Amit Shah.

The next AGM is scheduled to take place on December 1. The BCCI panel need a 75 percent vote on the amendments for it to be approved. It is highly likely that the BCCI gets this 75 percent vote at the AGM. However, for the new draft proposal to be fully rolled out, it will need the approval of the Supreme Court.

Here is a look at some of the changes proposed by the BCCI.

Supreme Court Should Not Interfere

The current constitution says that any changes made can only come into being once it gets a 75 percent vote from the state associations. This is in addition to the necessary approval from the Supreme Court. The BCCI says this should not be required because the Lodha Committee did not make this mandatory nor was it outlined during the principal judgement of the Supreme Court. This was released on 18 July 2016.

The BCCI says that this current process is not practical and too tedious. The change is a very simple one. The 75 percent state association vote must continue. But final approval from the court should be dropped.

BCCI Office Bearers Must Be Allowed To Serve Longer Terms

Office bearers currently serve a term of three years and are allowed to hold two consecutive terms in office. Whether they spend three years in a state association and the next three at the BCCI, it is considered a total of six years or two consecutive terms. The current constitution says once the six-year period is over, the office bearer must take a three-year break. During this break, he/she is not allowed to hold any official role in the BCCI or state associations.

The BCCI is not happy with this current policy. It believes it does Indian cricket a disservice by not allowing senior and experienced members a long tenure in office. The amendment says an office bearer should be allowed to serve up to six years in the state association. Then, they can serve another six years at the BCCI. Only then should the three-year mandatory break be imposed.

A special exemption must be made for the posts of BCCI Vice President, BCCI joint-secretary and BCCI treasurer. These three posts should be allowed to finish a total of nine years at a stretch. Then, the mandatory three-year break is imposed.

We continue to look at the proposed amendments in Part 2…