The Supreme Court has warned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to comply with the Lodha reforms. The request to implement these reforms unconditionally has not been met. The BCCI has defied the ruling, and has disbursed funds against the directions of the court. According to directions from the court, funds may not be distributed to those that have not agreed to implement the Lodha reforms.
The BCCI disbursed approximately Rs 400 crore to state associations that have made the decision that they will not comply with the Lodha reforms. The court has said that these funds should be returned to the cricket board at this time.
Chief Justice TS Thakur noted: “Transparency and fairness must be there. Everyone needs to cooperate with the Lodha panel. You must make your stand clear first. If you yourself are acting in defiance, what’s the point? This defiant attitude won’t lead you anywhere. And it is nobody’s money. It is public money. You discharge a public function and this money must be used transparently.”
The court has stressed that when funds are disbursed by the BCCI, there should be full transparency and objectivity. The funds need to be divided up fairly.
The bench noted that the BCCI cannot have immunity over being questions regarding the public funds it makes use of. The cricket governing body does not only have rights, but rather duties, and should be held accountable for any actions taken.
There had been some concern that the New Zealand cricket tour would have to be cancelled because the court had instructed banks to freeze some of the BCCI accounts. There was, however, no issue regarding the New Zealand cricket team’s visit to India since the court had only frozen two specific payments from the BCCI. The frozen accounts did not affect the current cricket tour in any way.