SC approves draft constitution of BCCI (Lead)

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New Delhi : Discarding its own order of 'one state, one vote' policy, the Supreme Court on Thursday restored the voting rights of the cricket associations of Gujarat and Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Baroda, Saurashtra, Vidarbha and others by approving the draft Constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Supreme Court also granted full permanent membership to the Railways, the Tri-Services, and Association of Indian Universities among others.

Pronouncing the judgment, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra cited the historical existence and contribution of these cricketing bodies in the rise and growth of the sport in India.

"These associations have a long and abiding history of nurturing talent for the game of cricket in India. The history of cricket in India is replete with their contribution to the cause of cricket. These associations have produced players who have brought laurels to their states and to the nation," the top court said.

Earlier, the Supreme Court bench had said that the draft constitution would be based on its directions of July 18, 2016 and its order of July 24, 2017 by which it had agreed to re-examine the one state one vote principle, the strength of the selection committee and the status of associate members.

"We have heard all the stakeholders who wished to be heard at length so as to enable the Court to form a holistic perspective. The purpose of this exercise is to finalise the text of BCCI's Constitution which incorporates the principles which find acceptance by the Lodha Committee (and affirmed by this Court), while at the same time ensuring a measure of practicality in implementation," the Supreme Court bench said.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud on Thursday said every office-bearer will have to undergo a cooling off period of three years after two consecutive terms, instead of one, as suggested by the Lodha Committee.

"An office bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms either in a state association or in the BCCI (or a combination of both) shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling off period of three years. During the cooling off period, such an office bearer shall not be a member of the governing council or of any committee whatsoever of the BCCI or of a state association," it stated.

The bench added: "No person shall hold the post of office bearer in BCCI, regardless of post, for a period in excess of nine years in the aggregate."

The court also ordered the state cricket associations to adopt the BCCI constitution within 30 days and intimate the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA). It further warned state cricket associations that non-compliance to the order will invite action.