SC admits OCA petition on Lodha panel report

New Delhi/Cuttack: The Supreme Court on Thursday admitted the petition filed by the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) seeking to be an intervener in the case pertaining to the recommendations of Justice RM Lodha panel, which has suggested massive restructuring of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI).

The apex court directed the OCA to file an affidavit on it and posted its next hearing to March 18.

On February 4, the apex court had asked the BCCI to accept in “toto” the recommendation of the Justice Lodha Committee on the structural reforms of the apex cricketing board.

The apex court-appointed Justice R M Lodha Committee had made a host of far-reaching recommendations for improvement of the cricket administration in the country, including limiting the term for the BCCI office bearers with a cooling off period and separate governing bodies for the BCCI and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

It also recommended bringing the BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, legalisation of betting, uniformity in the structure of state associations, and a one-state-one-member (vote) pattern for the BCCI governing body.

It may be mentioned that the OCA secretary Ashirbad Behera, in a press briefing on February 28, had said that the report of the Lodha Committee submitted in the apex court is one-sided.

Talking about the report of the Committee on the age limit and the terms of election, he had pointed out there is no age bar in the elections in the country starting from the Panchayat level to the Parliament to press his case that there should be no age limitation for BCCI office bearers either.

“In a democratic country like India, law is equal for all. Hence, considering the above, why the Lodha Committee has recommended an age limit and the term of office of a member of the BCCI and the state cricket association? If the President and Prime Minister can take care of the governance of the country at the age of 70, why can’t a 70-year-old person run a state cricket association?” he asked.

He had also said there will be no more craze for cricket in the country if the Lodha Committee report is accepted.