BCCI moves Supreme Court for an urgent hearing on amendment of board's constitution

The hearing has been requested for an authorization to change six board rules.

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Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) filed a motion with the Supreme Court on Friday (July 15), requesting an immediate hearing on a request for authorization to change six board rules. It is now anticipated that the case will be heard as soon as next week.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s tenure had been extended, and his occupancy of the role alongside Secretary Jay Shah’s will come to an end in September 2022. The BCCI General Body suggested six revisions at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2019, one of which was to amend Rule 6 of the Constitution, which prohibited BCCI and state board office holders from serving in those positions for more than six years in a row.

The present regulations say that after serving a maximum of six years in office, anyone who has held a position in the BCCI, a state cricket organization, or any combination of the two, must go through an obligatory “cooling off period” of three years. They are not permitted to serve in a state body or the BCCI during this time. For the following three years, this would effectively prevent the existing BCCI office holders from holding any positions within the BCCI or any state boards.

Jay Shah had been an official in the Gujarat Cricket Association since 2013, while Ganguly had been the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) since 2014 before being appointed to the BCCI. Since the Supreme Court has not yet heard the argument for amending the rules or issued any directives for their removal from office, their tenure is currently officially extended.

The proposed change would also modify BCCI’s six-year term restriction

The modification to permit BCCI office-bearers to take positions in the state associations was proposed at the AGM. The proposed change would also totally eliminate the six-year term restriction for the state associations’ president and secretary.

According to the application before the Supreme Court, “the provision contained in Rule 6.4 applies to the eligibility to contest the election and not the continuance of an elected person who is already elected before the commencement of disqualification, the general body has, in its wisdom, thought it necessary to amend the said provision so as to ensure that in the fresh elections after 3 years, the BCCI is not deprived of the experience gained by the individuals in the state association.”

The other proposed changes permit the BCCI office-bearers to exercise “supervision, direction, and control” over the organization’s daily operations, which were previously delegated to “professionals in both cricketing and non-cricketing matters” under the existing regulations. Following the Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendations, the Supreme Court ordered the creation of the BCCI Constitution in 2018 with the goal of ‘removing political interference and allowing professional sports persons to have control of the sports organisation.’ The Supreme Court’s website lists September 6 as the current anticipated date for the hearing.

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