Editorial Analysis || BCCI revamp: On Lodha panel recommendations

Mains Paper: 2 | Governance

Prelims level: Lodha recommendations panel

Mains level: The Supreme Court has been pragmatic in tweaking the Lodha norms on running cricket.

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Context:

• The Supreme Court has now extended some concessions to those aggrieved by the rigorous rules, which aimed to revamp cricket administration in the country.

• Chief Justice Dipak Misra suggests that it is a pragmatic modification rather than a significant climb down.

• Justice Lodha, a former Chief Justice of India, however, feels that the court has now knocked out the foundation of his recommendations.
What are the Lodha panel recommendations?

• The most significant change concerns the cooling-off period prescribed for office-bearers before they are allowed to contest for a subsequent term.

• Against the panel’s view that every office-bearer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, in the national board or in a State association, should have a three-year break after a three-year term, the court has now allowed two three-year terms — that is, a tenure of six years — before the mandatory break kicks in.

• The logic behind a cooling-off period is that office-bearers should not be given lengthy tenures that enable them to establish personal fiefdoms.

• The experience and knowledge that office-bearer gains over three years should not be frittered away, and a second term could help consolidate such learnings.

• The Bench has accepted the logic behind this and chosen to defer the cooling-off period until she completes two terms.

• Given that there is a nine-year aggregate limit as well as an age limit of 70 for any office-bearer.

• The Lodha panel had also favoured the ‘one State, one vote’ norm.

• This norm has been overruled.

Conclusion

• The court has accepted the reasoning that associations that had contributed significantly to Indian cricket need not be stripped of their full membership.

• It is now up to the administrators of the future to dispel Justice Lodha’s apprehensions that this may lead to manipulation of votes.

• Whether the changes adopted by the court while finalising a new constitution for the BCCI differ in significant ways from what was proposed by the Lodha committee will be a matter of debate.

• However, judicial intervention has been immensely helpful in making cricket administration more efficient and professional and addressing the credibility deficit of recent times.

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