Questioning Lodha Committee's fresh clarifications, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) legal advisor Ushanath Banerjee on Friday pleaded in Kolkata for a review saying it made a clear departure from the earlier stand and misconstrued the order.
Banerjee said that the answer to the second of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Lodha Committee website, which states that former India captain Sourav Ganguly would have to undergo a compulsory cooling-off period of three years after competing three years at the state association as secretary and president.
Banerjee, who had been BCCI's legal advisor for close to 16 years, stressed that the FAQs and their response were not in consonance with the earlier rulings pertaining to the limitations of the office-bearers' tenures.
"Having highest respect towards the Hon'ble Supreme Court Committee and their valued decision making processes, with utmost humility, I believe that such fresh modus as informed on January 12, 2017 is not merely a complete departure from the prudent stand of qualifying the "disqualifications", but also misconstruing the expression "OR" in the solemn order of January 3, 2017 of the Hon'ble Apex Court.
"I would humbly state that construing the word "OR" as "AND" is misreading resulting severe adverse implication," Banerjee, wrote in his statement to PTI.
This refers to the stand by the Lodha Committee that the cumulative span of nine years as a cut-off for cricket administrators would include the BCCI and state associations, instead of one of them individually.
"As a law student, I'm unable to grasp how could the honourable Committee consisting one of the most respected former Chief Justice of India and esteemed honourable Judges of the Apex Court could arrive at such decisions-making making process?" the senior advocate of Government of West Bengal asked.
"I feel that reasonableness in the decision making process is of utmost necessity and imperative."
"Based on the order dated January 3, 2017 of the Hon'ble Apex Court, the Hon'ble Supreme Court Committee has now completely overturned the entire modus claiming that nine years cumulative period would include 'both the period as office bearer/councillor of the State Association as well as of the BCCI', having far reaching consequences."
"While the Hon'ble Apex Court by virtue of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution is empowered to pass any overreaching biding order so as to provide "complete justice" and the same must be faithfully complied with and observed without an iota of disrespect, but exercise of such power has to be used sparingly, but in my humble and respectful view, such order cannot be passed under the garb of "an inadvertent error" requiring modification/correction, he said.
"While the Hon'ble Supreme Court Committee has observed that "Position has been now altered" in view of the order dated January 2, 2017 as amended by the order dated January 3, 2017, I am unsure as to how could a Judgement and Order (July 18, 2016) passed by the Hon'ble Highest Court of the Country which attended "finality" since rejection of the Review Petition, could be either modified or altered or changed subsequently and that too without going through the rigmarole of required process by a separate findings of the Hon'ble Bench after detailed hearing of the parties?" he asked.
He further wrote, "No sooner a Judgement and order of the Hon'ble Supreme Court attends finality, everyone in the Country is duty bound to ensure strict faithful compliance of the same, irrespective of the same being liked or disliked by anyone."
"Any mode of disrespect to the order or obstructive or disruptive attitude or misconstruing approach is impermissible, apart from being gross contemptuous.
"I most humbly feel that while making correction of inadvertent error on January 3, 2017, the Hon'ble Apex Court did not pass any "new" or "fresh" or even "altered" Order than that of the order dated July 18 2016 and there has been misreading of the said corrections by construing word "OR" as "AND" and impliedly including 'conjointly'."
Pleading for a review, he stated: "As the effect of reading "OR" as "AND" would have far reaching consequences in entire administration of the discipline of the Cricket, I feel that the Hon'ble Supreme Court Committee would be extremely gracious to review the subject in the larger interest of reasonableness and equity."
(With inputs from PTI)