In a stern warning, the Supreme Court on Wednesday told BCCI that it would make the cricket body “fall in line” if it did not abide by the court orders and said the cash-rich organisation cannot behave like “Lords” and think they are a “law unto themselves”. The warning and admonition came after the Justice R M Lodha committee said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had “ignored” the apex court’s directions and its President Anurag Singh Thakur had given several “very objectionable statements” undermining the court.
The Lodha panel, which sought apex court’s direction to “supersede” the current BCCI office bearers with immediate effect and appoint a panel of administrators to ensure “smooth transition” from the old to the new system recommended by it, told the court that all decisions taken by BCCI which were contrary to the July 18 verdict be held “non est” (does not exist). It said the conduct of BCCI office bearers in not complying with the apex court directions and repeatedly issuing statements to undermine the authority of the court and members of the Lodha panel, had “created serious impediments” in implementation of the apex court directions. “If BCCI thinks that they are law unto themselves, then they are wrong. They have to comply with the directions of the court,” a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said. “You (BCCI) are behaving like Lords. Fall in line otherwise we will make you fall in line,” the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, warned and added that “BCCI is bringing the system to disrepute by not following the directions”. Senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for BCCI, said they had complied with most of the directions and would gradually comply with the rest.
To this, the bench said, “law needs not to be defied. We are not happy about the things going on. We anticipated this approach from BCCI but this is not done. You will have to fall in line with the directions of the court.” The bench has given BCCI time till October 6 to file its reply to the status report of the Lodha panel, which has recommended structural reforms in the cricket body.