New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday pulled up the BCCI for its reluctance to comply with the recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel, including the one to keep ministers away from cricket administration, observing politicians wanted to hold such posts for "power and clout".
The apex court also took umbrage against some state cricket associations, which sought a fresh hearing before the Lodha panel, saying these bodies cannot be allowed to "filibuster" or delay implementation of the recommendations of the panel which was an "expensive committee" and had grabbed "international headlines".
"It was international news that we had formed the Justice Lodha Committee to suggest reforms in cricket. The whole world knew it. Now you come to us and say the recommendations were a bolt from the blue for you and you were not consulted... What were you doing? Waiting at fence for a written invitation?," the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice FMI Kalifulla said.
"There is no question of you wanting it. We, the Supreme Court, will decide whether we are inclined to send some restricted issues back to the committee for its decision, that too within a limited span of time... Lodha Committee cost a lot of money for BCCI. It is not an easy committee. It was an expensive committee," the bench said.
When senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for BCCI, raised objections to the committee's recommendation for keeping politicians away, the bench asked, "Why do you want the ministers to be there?".
When Venugopal gave the example of former Union minister late N K P Salve, who was a prominent cricket administrator, contending that it lends "leadership and experience" to the cricket body, the bench said, "You want to make it as a precedent."
Referring to his submissions made just before this when BCCI objected to the inclusion of a nominee of the CAG in the cricket's administrative body, the bench said, "You do not want the nominee of the CAG, but you want politicians".
"You want ministers and government officers to be involved. You say that they have contributed to the game. The country is endowed with people of talent that we cannot deprive you of capable and honest people who want to contribute," the bench said.
The bench said, "The feeling is that politicians may want to hold the post for power and clout. It is the source of aggrandisement, that is why this recommendation has been made (to keep politicians away)."