Supreme Court questions BCCI over lack of transparency in funds to states

The SC bench sought to know the details of funds the BCCI has allocated to the states like Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura in the past five years.

Supreme Court questions BCCI over lack of transparency in funds to states

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday questioned the BCCI over allocation of funds to state cricket boards for development of cricket infrastructure without any "credible monitoring mechanism" and asked it to submit a chart detailing how much funds it has extended to them in the last five years.

"You (BCCI) have allocated Rs 480 crore in one year to state cricket associations for the development of cricketing infrastructure. In the past 20 years, more than Rs 2000 crore have been given approximately.

"Have you monitored these funds as how it is being utilized. There is no credible monitoring mechanism to look at whether even infrastructre has been created or not," a bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said.

The bench, also comprising Justice F M I Kalifulla, sought to know the details of funds the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has allocated to the states like Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura in the past five years. He said smaller states like Himachal Pradesh get preferential treatment because BCCI secretary comes from there.

"With Anurag Thakur as secretary of BCCI, Himachal Pradesh, though a small state, may have got substantial amount of funds but we want to know as to what has happened to other states," the bench said, adding not much has been happening on the creation of infrastructre as claimed by the cricket board.

The hard hitting remarks were made by the bench when BCCI was objected to some of the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel, including picking up a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the apex council of the cricket body.

The bench said BCCI's suggestion that instead of a permanent member the appointment of a nominee of the CAG in an advisory role can be considered at a later stage.

However, continuing with its query over funds, the bench questioned the planning of BCCI, asking whether it had any plans in place for what it had released Rs 480 crore to the state associations or was it done without any reasoning.

"You give us the details as to how much you have spent in five years and it will give us the brief picture as to what has been done," the bench said.

The Supreme Court's observations came after senior advocate K K Venugopal submitted that BCCI has already implemented some of the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel appointed by the apex court to suggest structural reforms in the Indian cricket board.

He said BCCI has already appointed an ombudsman and put in place rules on conflict of interest. Venugopal said the cricket board has put out advertisements for a chief executive officer, a chief financial officer and other top management positions.

Venugopal also listed some of the recomendations of the panel with which the Board does not agree and sought that it be allowed to go back to the Lodha Committee for sorting out the issues.

The bench, however, said it will hear and examine the issues raised by BCCI and, if the need arises, only then it will send the list of unresolved and restricted issues back to Lodha panel.

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