New Delhi: The Supreme Court has allowed the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) to move the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) seeking to constitute an independent ad-hoc arrangement or a supervisory committee to run and manage the game of cricket and related activities in Bihar.
Vikas Mehta, representing CAB, submitted before the top court that the response from the BCCI should be called by the court for deciding the disputes in the case. Earlier this week, a bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi told advocate Mehta that if there are any surviving disputes, the applicants can approach the suitable forum. Mehta said the suitable forum to address this dispute is BCCI.
The secretary of CAB Aditya Verma filed an application, on behalf of CAB, in the top court contending that the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) has fallen into a web of negative spiral. “As each faction calls an Annual General Meeting and takes a decision against the other faction, BCA has not only failed to register itself, but has failed to remain an association which is even working at present”, said the application.
Verma said during this rigmarole of BCA’s internal disputes, the game of cricket has been brought down to its knees in Bihar, as no payments are being released to the players, coaches, selectors, staff of Bihar’s U-16, U-19, U-23 and senior teams. “It is necessary to point out that BCA is in a power conundrum and there are ongoing disputes between different factions in the BCA, wherein one faction is led by Jagannath Singh and the other faction is led by Rakesh Kumar Tiwari”, said the application.
The top court had formed the committee under retired Justice R.M. Lodha through a judgment in 2015, which submitted its report in January 2016. Following, the top court had approved the final constitution of the BCCI and directed each of the members to undertake registration of their respective constitutions on the same line.
Verma has pointed that the BCA is not registered till date, which is a clear failure in compliance of the judgment of the top court in 2018. “That as per the recommendations of the aforementioned committee, the State of Bihar was to be a full member of Respondent No. 1 (BCCI). However, presently there is no association in the State of Bihar that is recognized by the Respondent No. 1 as a full member. Hence, the rival association of the Appellant (CAB), being Bihar Cricket Association is not a full member of Respondent No. 1”, added the application.
Senior advocate P.S. Narasimha was appointed as amicus curiae through top court order on March 14, 2019, by the consent of all the parties to act as a mediator and resolve the disputes between the parties in the interlocutory applications. “Till a report was submitted by the Amicus Curiae, this Court directed that no matter pertaining to the BCCI or any State Cricket Association shall be entertained by any Court”, top court.
The top court noted that the majority of the state associations have become compliant with the Lodha Committee’s report accepted by it, pursuant to which elections have been conducted. The top court said the petitioners, various state cricket associations, can pursue other remedies for implementation of the recommendation made by Justice Lodha Committee. “Amicus Curiae has submitted a report of completion of the mediation and the order restraining the other Courts from adjudicating disputes brought before them need not to continue”, said the top court, disposing of scores of matters, which either have become infructuous or settled through mediation.