In a major development related to cricket administration in India, on Wednesday the Supreme Court allowed significant amendments to the Constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), chiefly related to the consecutive terms of the office-bearers and the cooling-off period between terms in office.
While the ruling, in effect, clears the path for BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to continue for a second consecutive term, though there is a strong buzz that fresh elections could be in the offing, the order needs to be properly understood.
Timesofindia.com is here to make it simple to comprehend.
WHAT THE RULE WAS EARLIER
Before we dissect the latest SC ruling on the matter, it must be noted that the apex court altered its own ruling of 2018.
In 2018, the SC, based on the Justice Lodha panel’s recommendations, had ruled that…
1) an office-bearer must undergo a three-year cooling-off period after two consecutive terms — whether it be with a state association or with BCCI or even cumulative, i.e., first three years with BCCI and the next three years with a state association, or vice versa.
Now this clause from the 2018 amendment of the Constitution wasn’t allowing Ganguly and Shah to continue as the BCCI president and secretary, respectively, because both had served as office-bearers in state cricket associations of Bengal and Gujarat before being elected to the BCCI offices.
(BCCI president Sourav Ganguly talking to the board’s secretary Jay Shah – TOI Photo)
WHAT THE NEW RULE STATES
To counter that eventuality, the BCCI, at its annual general meeting in December 2019, unanimously passed resolutions for amending the Constitution. That application was pending for SC approval, which came on September 14, 2022.
Now that the proposed amendment has the SC stamp, it allows the BCCI president, secretary and office-bearers to have two consecutive terms spanning six years in the board even if they had served for three years in state associations immediately before entering the BCCI.
THE AMENDED COOLING-OFF CLAUSE
If a person has had two consecutive terms in a state association, then:
1) He/She can’t contest in state association polls before a cooling-off period of three years.
2) He/She can, however, still contest in BCCI elections and serve two further terms at ‘national level’ upon being elected, before the cooling-off period becomes applicable.
The SC, though, maintained the nine-year cap on consecutive terms as a cricket administrator. This cap also applies on cumulative terms with state associations and/or as BCCI office-bearers. After nine consecutives years as a cricket administrator, the cooling-off period will become mandatory.
The latest SC-ruled amendments to the BCCI constitution…
1) will allow administrators from federations of other sports in India to be part of the BCCI or state cricket associations
2) will also allow officials working with PSUs, except ministers and bureaucrats, to be part of cricket administration at the state or national level
3) will bar only those persons from being part of cricket administration who have been convicted by a court and imprisoned for charges against them