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SC Allows BCCI To Amend Constitution; Ganguly, Jay Shah To Have Longer Tenures

The cooling-off period will now kick in only if an office-bearer completes two consecutive terms in their position.

Updated
Sports
3 min read
SC Allows BCCI To Amend Constitution; Ganguly, Jay Shah To Have Longer Tenures
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 14 September, allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to modify the mandatory cooling-off clause for the board's administrators.

The cooling-off period will now kick in only if the office-bearer completes two consecutive terms in their position.

According to the BCCI's constitution, an office-bearer needs to have a three-year cooling-off period between two consecutive terms in either state associations or the BCCI, or both combined. 

The apex court ruling is especially significant for the BCCI, as it now enables president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to continue in office despite them having completed six years at respective state cricket associations. 

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Welcoming the Supreme Court's ruling, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla said that the amendments had been "passed unanimously in AGM of BCCI" and were then taken to the Supreme Court for consideration. The amendments that the SC accepted will "ensure smooth functioning of BCCI as well as the experience of senior people who understand how to run BCCI," he told ANI.

The court said that the effective consequence of the current position is that any person elected as an office-bearer in a state association and in the BCCI for two consecutive terms would have to undergo cooling-off periods.

It added that a person with one term at a state association and one term at the BCCI would have to undergo cooling-off periods as well. 

The court said: 

"This is unduly stringent and needs to be modified with regard to the purpose with which cooling-off periods were introduced. We're of the view that the proposed amendment would not dilute the spirit and object of the cooling-off period, if implemented after an individual has completed two terms at either BCCI or state federations, we therefore accept this amendment."
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The rationale behind the modification was said to be the fact that both state associations and the BCCI, are distinct in function, and have a different set of rules and regulations.

Moreover, the BCCI said that the three-year long term in the BCCI, after which the cooling-off period sets in according to the present constitution, is too short to demonstrate leadership. 

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on Tuesday, submitted that the amendment also takes care of the concern that no one is in charge of the BCCI perennially. He added that it also ensures that the experience gathered during their state association tenure is not wasted. 

‘Will Lead to the BCCI Assuming Absolute Power’: Opposing Counsel

The counsel representing Bihar Cricket Association had objected to the BCCI’s proposed amendments and said that the approval mechanism ought not to be done away with, as it will lead to the BCCI assuming absolute power, making the Supreme Court’s entire exercise to streamline functioning futile. 

He further argued that the age bar of 70 years should not be lifted, as all of the world’s sport regulations, including the National Sports Code, promotes the participation of youths in managerial positions.

He also suggested that the after two consecutive terms in state associations, the individual should undergo a cooling-off period and then move to the BCCI, where they can serve again for a consecutive term of two years. 

In 2015, the Justice RM Lodha-led committee had recommended reforms in the BCCI which were accepted by the top court, leading to the new constitution of the board.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  BCCI    Supreme Court   Sourav Ganguly  

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