The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice of India (CJI) bench tweaked the mandatory three-year ‘cooling off’ rule — recommended by the Justice Lodha Committee and endorsed by the apex court in July 2016 — sharply by adding the ‘combination lock’ to disappoint a handful of seasoned administrators in the BCCI who were aspiring to occupy the five office-bearers’ post, as part of the Apex Council, at the long over-due BCCI elections.
While reworking the BCCI Constitution, around the Draft Constitution submitted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), the CJI Bench revised the application of the three-year ‘cooling off’ rule to after two terms of three years that adds a long stint of six years, instead of the Lodha-recommended three-year break between each three-year term.
But giving an interesting twist, the apex court emphatically stated that a combination of a three-year stint as office-bearer at the State followed by another three-years at the BCCI and vice-versa will count as a six-year straight run and this situation would also attract the three-year cooling off period rule.
The court restored the full membership of the three government organisations (Services, Railways and Association of Indian Universities) and each of the three Ranji Trophy teams in Maharashtra (Maharashtra, Mumbai, Vidarbha) and Gujarat (Gujarat, Baroda, Saurashtra). But Cricket Club of India (CCI) and National Cricket council (NCC) were not as lucky; these two would be associate members.
The apex court also restored the composition of the senior, junior and women’s selection committees to five. The court has empowered the CoA to form a Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) in order to constitute the selection committees till the next BCCI AGM.
The court has remained silent on the tenure of office for the managing committee and other sub-committee members in the State Associations. “It cannot be construed that the three-year cooling-off period and nine-year maximum period would apply to them also,” said a BCCI official.