New Delhi: Supreme Court removes Anurag Thakur from the post of BCCI President says all board officials who had not fallen in line with the reforms recommended by the Lodha Committee must go.The court has ordered the sacking of BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke. The court said all Lodha recommendations must be implemented and this means that all cricket administrators over 70 years old will have to resign. The verdict, in what has come to be known as BCCI versus the Lodha Committee face-off, came after months of a bitter court battle. The Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court after a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League, has recommended sweeping changes in the way the board is run and led and had complained that the BCCI or Board of Control for Cricket in India was refusing to implement them. 10 things to know:-
The Supreme Court also removed Ajay Shirke as Secretary of the BCCI. Mr Shirke declined to react, said it was a Supreme Court ruling and he had nothing to say. "I don't regret anything. I don't have any personal ambitions," Mr Shirke said.
The judges have also issued a contempt notice to Anurag Thakur, who is a BJP lawmaker. At its last hearing two weeks ago, the court has said Mr Thakur seemed to have "committed perjury" after it was informed that he had made a false statement on asking the International Cricket Council or ICC to clarify whether a recommendation made by the Lodha committee amounted to interference in the board's running.
The Supreme Court had given the board time until December 3 to implement the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel. The board had pleaded that it could not implement all the reforms, which include large-scale structural and management changes.
The Lodha Committee, headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, was set up in January 2015 by the Supreme Court to suggest changes in the way the BCCI, the world's richest cricket board, is run.
"If BCCI was reluctant to accept the Supreme Court's July order these consequences were bound to follow. I am sure the game of cricket will be governed as well as ever. The Supreme Court order should work as a template for other sports organisations too," aid Justice Lodha after the verdict.
The committee had made recommendations in early 2016 and these were approved in July by the Supreme Court, which asked the BCCI to implement them. In earlier hearings the court has rapped the board on the knuckles for not obeying that order, asking whether it believes "it is a law unto itself."
In October 2016, the court had frozen the accounts of the BCCI but has allowed release of funds to enable the board to hold cricket matches first with the visiting New Zealand side and then with England.
At the last hearing on December 16, the BCCI rejected the Lodha Committee's recommendation that former union home secretary GK Pillai be appointed as an independent auditor to scrutinise the grant of contracts by the board as ordered by the court.
Among the changes that the Lodha Panel has recommended are the cap on the age of BCCI office holders and tenure restrictions for them. It has also suggested that one person hold only one post and that each state have only one vote on the board. Currently states like Maharashtra, have more influence than the others.