Blaming people with vested interests for his failure to persuade the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to accept a new constitution, Committee of Administrators (CoA) Chairman Vinod Rai said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court has no option left other than forcing through the reforms suggested by the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee.
“The Supreme Court tried to implement the reforms till January 30. But that did not take place for whatever reasons. Then we were appointed. Our mandate was to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee as approved by the Supreme Court on July 18, 2016. How do we ensure that mandate is fulfilled? We can ensure that mandate is fulfilled only by making the BCCI’s special general body meeting (SGM) pass a resolution. If that could have been done by January 30, then we would not have been required,” Rai was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
“Since the verdict was thrust onto them, they did not agree so I tried to build consensus (among BCCI members). I asked the BCCI members to narrow down the parts of the order that were hurting them, but please adopt the new constitution. And then appeal to the court asking to look at the shortlist of recommendations again.
“I asked them not to defy the court, be obedient to the verdict and if you have some genuine problems bring it to the notice of the court. That is why I held the meeting (with the state associations) before the SGMs (on June 6 and June 25). I was impressing upon them the fact that if you adopt the constitution you get onto the right side of the court. Then you point out X and Y are practical difficulties and hence cannot be implemented.
“This attempt failed due to the intransigence of a couple of people with vested interests who could sway the others,” he added.
“Since they once again decided to ignore the Supreme Court order in the June 26 SGM, we had no option but to tell the court (through the status report) of all our efforts and all that had transpired.”
Rai however, dismissed the charge that the CoA members have failed in their mission, pointing out that they did not have the power to make the BCCI officials and state bodies to accept the proposed changes.
“Because I don’t have the power to thrust the constitution on them, I can’t force them to adopt the new constitution. So if anybody says why couldn’t the CoA implement it, how can I implement it when the court itself has not been able to do that? We have now told the court that we have tried, I can’t implement because they are intransigent and because of a few disruptive elements. I just laid it bare,” he said.
“Because the court could not succeed in persuading them to pass the constitution. Then the court asked us to do it. We have tried our best to persuade them, build the consensus. Now that they have not agreed, I have sought the direction of the court,” he added.
“My consensus-building efforts did not fructify. I am not frustrated. I am just saying the writ of the court must run.”
Rai also asserted that he does not have any more patience left and has asked the apex court to pass a legal order to push through the new constitution.
“As far as I am concerned now it is just too late. Everything is a closed issue. It just too late. Now, I have made my recommendation to the court. The court will examine it on September 5. If it gives me the order on September 5 I will convene the SGM first, adopt the new constitution. And, as per the constitution, convene the AGM to elect the office-bearers and close the CoA’s tenure latest by October 31. I continue to stick by my schedule,” he said.
“I have told the court to issue an order under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, and issue direction to the Registrar of the Tamil Nadu government to register the new BCCI constitution.
“Article 142 says: Enforcement of the decrees and orders of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and make it enforceable throughout the territory of India,” he added.
“The court need only pass an order enforcing its own decree. No one else can do that.”