The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for transforming into a ‘mutually-beneficial society’.
A Special Bench of Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur and Justice F.M.I. Kalifulla asked whether the ‘no-questions-asked’ policy of the BCCI was a ploy to buy votes and surreptitiously influence voting patterns in a certain way.
Eleven of the 29 states have been allocated practically zero funds, the apex court noted, which doesn’t help the development of the game in the country.
“Out of 29 states 11 are begging for money, this is not good. You allot money without demanding explanation which is basically corrupting them,” the judges told board’s lawyers.
“You function like show me the face; I will make the payment… Impression that one gets is that you are practically corrupting the persons by not demanding how the money is spent… it’s like the moment you want a vote and their hands will go up,” Chief Justice Thakur remarked.
“Why Gujarat got over Rs 60 crore from BCCI in its capacity as a full member with voting rights, while Bihar did not,” the Bench asked.
To which, the BCCI replied that Bihar, which is an associate member, had refused to submit their accounts and funds are released to members depending on their cricketing activity.
But Chief Justice Thakur persisted to ask then why Goa with hardly a population of 10 lakh was getting Rs 57 crore while Bihar is not.
The court was hearing objections raised by the BCCI to several recommendations made by the SC-appointed committee led by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) R.M. Lodha to overhaul BCCI functioning and bring transparency into Indian cricket administration.
“This committee is not an ordinary one peopled by government officials for you to complain about. A former CJI headed the committee and we repose faith in their findings which are a result of extensive deliberations with a broad spectrum of people spread through a year,” Chief Justice Thakur said.
“Justice Lodha Committee does not change any rules. It does not say that there should be seven balls in an over. It only recommends change in the persons managing cricket administration,” Chief Justice Thakur further added.
The next hearing is on Friday (April 8).