Three top Board of Control for Cricket in India office-bearers -- Sourav Ganguly, Jay Shah and Jayesh George -- will know on Thursday if they can continue as BCCI office-bearers. This matter has been pending for months before the Supreme Court. (More Cricket News)
According to the BCCI constitution that was passed by the Supreme Court in August 2018, the three officials in question should have been 'cooling off' for three years each after spending six years as cricket administrators in a state association or BCCI. Their terms ended around middle of 2020.
A two-judge Bench, headed by Justice L. Nageswara Rao, will hear the BCCI matter on Thursday morning. It has been listed as the first case of the day and despite COVID restrictions, it is learnt that Justice Rao and Justice Vineet Saran have given the case "high importance."
Justice Rao, who had investigated betting and match-fixing in IPL in 2014, is keen to dispose of the BCCI matter. On February 16, he had admonished Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, the BCCI counsel, for repeatedly seeking adjournments.
Justice Rao had said: "We can't keep adjourning like this. We had adjourned six times. Don’t adjourn ... we will not adjourn it... list on March 23."
The BCCI matter, of course, could not be heard on March 23 as Justice Rao was busy as part of the Constitution Bench hearing the Maratha Reservation case.
Justice Rao's bench will hear at least 14 petitions, most of them praying for a rollback of the Supreme Court's directions based on the reforms suggested by the former Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha.
The BCCI itself is asking for six amendments in the constitution that was approved by a former CJI, Justice Dipak Misra. Among many things, BCCI wants Ganguly, Shah and George to continue and no 'cooling off' should be applied.
Interestingly, the Bench has admitted a contempt petition against secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, Yudhvir Singh, a government official. According to the constitution, no government official can be an office-bearer at a state body or BCCI.
Justice Rao, who has seen the removal of two former BCCI presidents -- N. Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur -- by the Supreme Court seems keen to find a solution to this BCCI impasse.
"If the Supreme Courts wants me to go, I will go. It will impact Jay Shah too," Ganguly had told Outlook before. In a recent interview with a TV channel, the BCCI president said he will make his next career move "once the Supreme Court decides on my BCCI role."
The BCCI apex council is scheduled to meet on April 16 to discuss a slew of matters ranging from illegal T20 cricket tournaments (Bihar recently hosted one) to World T20 in India later this year.
It remains to be seen whether Ganguly and Shah call the shots or a committee of administrators will run the cricket Board, again.