The Supreme Court has ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur as the chief of India's cricket board (BCCI), saying that all board officials who had not fallen in line with the reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee, must go. The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had ordered the sacking of BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke.
The court had said strictly that all Lodha recommendations must be implemented and this meant that all cricket administrators over 70 years old should resign. The verdict, which has come to be known as BCCI versus the Lodha Committee face-off, that came after the months of a bitter court battle. The Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court after a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League, has recommended sweeping changes in the way the board had been run and led and had complained that the BCCI or Board of Control for Cricket in India had been refusing to implement them.
The Supreme Court also has removed Ajay Shirke as Secretary of the BCCI. Mr Shirke had refused to react, telling NDTV that it had been a Supreme Court ruling and he had nothing to say, "I don't regret anything. I don't have any personal ambitions”.
The judges had also issued a contempt notice to Anurag Thakur, who had been a BJP lawmaker. At its last hearing two weeks ago, the court said that Mr Thakur seemed to have "committed perjury" after it had been informed that he had made a false statement on asking the International Cricket Council or ICC to clarify whether a recommendation made by the Lodha committee had amounted to interference in the board's running.
The Supreme Court again said that the committee of administrators will take care of the BCCI's affairs. The senior-most BCCI vice-president will act as the president while the joint-secretary will act as secretary. All the BCCI office-bearers and state associations have to give an undertaking to abide by the Lodha Committee recommendations, it further ruled. The court said that it will pass a separate order on January 19 for appointing the administrator.
By Prakriti Neogi