The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked state cricket associations and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers to give their suggestions on the draft constitution for the cricket body, to be approved by it. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also disposed of a contempt petition filed by Cricket Association of Bihar against BCCI officials for not implementing its earlier order allowing Bihar to play national level cricket tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy matches.
The bench, which also comprised Justices A.M. Khanwilakr and D.Y. Chandrachud, considered the submissions of the BCCI, Committee of Administrators (CoA) and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is assisting as Amicus Curiae, that Bihar would take part in national level tournaments in the cricketing season commencing from September. The bench said a draft constitution would be approved by it, which would be binding on the BCCI.
However, it clarified that its order on petitions seeking recall of the 2016 verdict would deal with the validity of the draft constitution. It asked state cricket bodies and BCCI office-bearers to give their suggestions with regard to the draft constitution to the Amicus Curiae before May 11, the next date of hearing.
The bench also directed Maharashtra Cricket Association, represented by Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, to postpone its Wednesday's election till the next date.
The CoA had in October last year filed a draft constitution of the BCCI incorporating suggestions of the Justice RM Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body.
The top court had said the draft constitution should include the suggestions of the Lodha committee in its entirety so that a holistic document can be placed before it for a final decision.
It had approved the Lodha panel's recommendations like 'one state, one vote', 'one member, one post' and fixing a 70-year age-cap on those occupying BCCI posts.
The Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) had on April 20 this year moved the top court seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against some office-bearers of BCCI for not complying with its order allowing Bihar to participate in Ranji Trophy and other national championships.
The CAB, in its plea, had alleged that the BCCI had neither invited any cricket association to play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, nor allowed any cricket association from Bihar to participate in the tournament held in February.
There was also discussion on the 'one state, one vote' rule.
The lawyer for three BCCI office-bearers said that states which can't field 11 players are given voting rights. He said that some of the North-Eastern states don't have proper teams but they are given voting rights.
He further said that one of the league matches involving one of the teams from North-East bowled 111 wide balls.
Justice Chandrachud told the lawyer, "You should also remember India was bundled out for 42 runs in the UK."
Chief Justice Dipak Misra said, "If a bowler bowls 27 maiden overs it doesn't mean the batsman from the side is not capable of playing.
"We are on the principle of inclusion not exclusion," he added.
"Vidarbha has won the Ranji trophy this year and it can't be denied voting," Justice Chandrachud added.
(With inputs from PTI and A. Vaidyanathan)