The elections to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has run into rough weather again as the Supreme Court hearing into the case is unlikely to be held on Thursday.
Till Wednesday evening, it hadn’t been listed on the Supreme Court’s list for the next day. This is because Justice S.A. Bobde, one of the judges in the case involving the BCCI, is also on the five-member constitutional bench hearing the Ayodhya dispute.
This delay in the hearing will only postpone the Board elections, scheduled to be held on October 22. Several applications are pending before the apex court, most notably on the composition of the apex council. According to a senior Board member, unless those issues are resolved, the election process can’t get started.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators’ chief Vinod Rai had sounded confident of holding the elections after a meeting in New Delhi this week.
The Telegraph learns that the electoral protocol, which was scheduled to have been completed by June 30, hasn’t yet been communicated to the state associations. The appointment of electoral officers by the state associations also haven’t been completed despite an extended deadline of August 5.
The composition of the apex council remains a tricky issue. P.S. Narasimha, the amicus curiae, had said that while having a BCCI-like nine-member council for the state associations wouldn’t be ‘logical’, it wasn’t in the mandate of the Lodha Commission too. Hence the decision to extend it to 19.
However, not having uniformity in the number of members in the council hasn’t gone down well with the associations — 13 for Baroda Cricket Association, nine for Cricket Association of Bengal, 11 for Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh, 17 for Mumbai Cricket Association and 19 for Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association.
“The composition of the apex council has to be sorted out,” said the senior Board member. “How can it be as discriminatory as nine for one association and 13/19 for another? What is the logic behind having a specific number of persons for a certain association?”
The members’ ire doesn’t stop here. “The amicus curiae doesn’t have the right to decide on the number. The court hasn’t said it has to be 19. So unless the constitution is final, how can Rai say that 26 associations are Lodha complaint?
“There are a significant number of interim applications pending before the apex court. The court will have to first decide on them. The issues are significant and varying — from composition of apex council to cooling off period to players’ voting rights.
“Each one of them merits a hearing. If a Union territory like Pondicherry can get full membership, then why not Andaman or Lakshadweep? Where lies the uniformity?” said another livid Board member.
The Board elections were last held in 2015 and unless the apex court gives the “green light” the process will get further delayed.