The Supreme Court on Wednesday in the case of The Board of Control for Cricket in India v Cricket Association of Bihar permitted the modification of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) constitution with regard to a mandatory three-year cooling-off period after one term for office-bearers.
A bench of judges led by DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli issued an order regarding the BCCI’s current cooling-off period rule, which said that it would be put into effect following one three-year term.
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 amendmentthe Order stated
The oddity with the proposed modifications as they are currently written, which would let one to keep running for State and BCCI administration roles provided they alternate every six years, was actually observed by the bench at the opening of today’s hearing.
The bench also approved changes to the disqualifications for individuals with criminal charges (now changed to those with convictions) and those from public office in its order (to only include ministers and public servants). Additionally, it made it possible for cricket players who participated in other sports to run for government.
After hearing from Amicus Curiae Senior Advocate Maninder Singh, Justice Kohli remarked that administrators might avoid the cooling-off period when switching to the BCCI, making a 12-year overall term across the BCCI and State associations possible.
A BCCI office-bearer position, according to Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, is something that is obtained through election rather than a kind gift.
They have to get confidence of voters, so a 6-year term is not long
The Bench then proposed that three-year cooling-off periods be uniformly applied for that level following the completion of two terms. The judges orally stated that the time would be applicable after 12 years for both State and BCCI seats. The Bench commented on the provision that prohibits someone facing criminal charges from contesting,
“We’ll say convicted of offence not involving punishment of just a fine.”
The Bench questioned their locus standi and sought specific objections from the respondent’s counsel after they continued to express resistance to the suggested revisions. After hearing him out and praising his “spirited” arguments, Justice Chandrachud said,
At the end of the day we have the highest respect for the [Lodha] committee, but we are not cricketers and are regulating the affairs of an autonomous body, and must give them leeway so long as they aren’t going against the spirit of our judgment … Indian cricket is successful not because of judicial review but because of its administration“
The Bench examined the arguments made by counsel to eliminate specific clauses through the agreed suggested revisions in its order.
The judgement states that the idea of only allowing individuals who have been found guilty to run for office rather than those who have been charged is “to protect office bearers who may suffer frivolous prosecution.”
The Bench also ruled on the argument that only ministers and public employees should be subject to the prohibitions against holding public office.
These changes do not detract from the spirit of our original judgment, and are hence accepted.the bench held