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Supreme Court removes BCCI boss Anurag Thakur, will Sourav Ganguly take over?

India Today logo India Today 02-01-2017
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The Supreme Court pronounced its crucial order in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vs Lodha committee matter..

BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke were removed from their posts. The Supreme Court will now appoint administrators. RM Lodha is in charge of ensuring the implementation of the reforms he had made.

Defiant heads of state associations who did not agree to implement the Lodha reforms would also be removed.

Gopal Subramanium and Fali Nariman will now suggest names for an interim Committee. India Today also learnt that the seniormost vice president will be president.

Related: BCCI vs Lodha Panel — 10 Points

Also read: How BCCI lost control of cricket

The Supreme Court also said BCCI office bearers over 70 years or whose office period has extended for over nine years or those who have a criminal conviction should be removed. 

Meanwhile, BCCI officials were sure the game of cricket would go on. It also emerges that former India captain Sourav Ganguly seems to be the front-runner to replace Thakur as board president.

The board is now checking if TC Matthew (vice-president, West Zone) and Gautam Roy (vice-president, West Zone) qualify for the post. Dr. G Gangaraju (vice-president, South Zone), CK Khanna (vice-president, Central Zone) and ML Nehru (vice-president, North Zone) don't qualify because of the new criteria.

The next hearing will take place in January 19 when names of the interim board will be decided.

Photos: Timeline — IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal

Indian cricketers and bookies, some with faces covered, are marched to a court after being arrested for spot fixing in cricket, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Police arrested Indian cricketers Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila over allegations of spot-fixing, involving performing in a pre-determined way at set times for the benefit of gamblers, during a domestic Twenty20 game. Timeline: IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal

MORE TROUBLE FOR THAKUR?

The Supreme Court also issued a show cause notice to Thakur and Shirke, asking why they should not be tried for perjury and contempt of court.

Thakur faced charges of perjury and he could still go to jail if he doesn't apologise to the Supreme Court.

Thakur in an affidavit had told the Supreme Court that he did not request the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar to write to the court saying that the appointment of a member of the CAG amounts to 'government interference'. However, clarifying to the court, Amicus Curiae Gopal Subramaniam said Thakur did ask Manohar to write to the Supreme Court. Manohar had been asked to file his response in the Supreme Court to 'set the record straight'.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur during the last hearing, had snubbed BCCI counsel Kapil Sibbal and warned that once the court passes order, Thakur 'will have to go to jail if he doesn't apologise'. The court had granted one week time to Thakur to file his affidavit and at the same time asked the BCCI to suggest names for an interim overseeing board to be set up to implement the Lodha panel reforms.

THE BACKGROUND

It all started when the spot-fixing scandal broke out during the Indian Premier League in 2013 leading to developments that forced the top court to intervene.

Subsequently, the Mudgal Committee was appointed by the Supreme Court, which submitted its report and pointed out irregularities pertaining to the IPL. To help things move further, the Supreme Court appointed a panel in January 2015 headed by former Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha. In July, the panel suspended IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two years, while the teams' co-owners Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra were banned for life from cricket.

Later, the Lodha panel suggested a set of comprehensive reforms for the BCCI to implement. A few of those recommendations were challenged by BCCI and then the apex court had a final word and set a deadline for the the board to implement the suggested reforms in its totality.

But, the BCCI continued to stand its ground. Meanwhile, the apex court also asked Thakur to file an affidavit to explain why he had asked the ICC to interfere in the proceedings and submit it to the court on October 17. SGM's were held and the BCCI decided to decline certain orders of the Lodha panel.

After the continued defiance, the Lodha committee asked the Supreme Court to sack the 'top brass' of the BCCI and install former Home Secretary GK Pillai as an observer of the BCCI with power to appoint an auditor, and guide the BCCI administration, particularly on the award of contracts and on transparency.

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