BOARD GAMES: Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah could be back in office as BCCI president and secretary. (BCCI/IPL Photo)SC, amicus agree to amend BCCI cooling-off period
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, Board of Control for Cricket and the SC-appointed amicus curiae on Tuesday tentatively reached a consensus to amend the BCCI's constitution to allow two consecutive terms to its president, secretary and other office-bearers irrespective of their earlier innings in state associations.
The SC-approved BCCI constitution provides that "an office-bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms either in a state association or in the BCCI (or a combination of both) shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling period of three years."
The bench also in principle agreed to remove the 70-year age cap on BCCI's representative to the ICC that could make former BCCI president N Srinivasan hopeful of entering the international cricket body for a fresh start after a break from the cricket management role for more than seven years.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta put forth BCCI's views that this is depriving the cricket board of the skills of experienced hands both in BCCI and ICC. Amicus curiae and senior advocate Maninder Singh slightly tweaked the proposed amendments to the satisfaction of the SC.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said, in principle, it was agreeable that the three-year cooling-off period should kick in only if a person serves six consecutive years either in a state association or BCCI. But, this too was caveated by Mehta, who said if a person after spending two consecutive terms is to mandatorily undergo cooling-off period, then he cannot contest elections for BCCI, for which a candidate has to be a member of a state association.
It was supported by TNCA counsel Kapil Sibal, who earlier had appeared for Srinivasan, who the SC had barred from contesting BCCI elections in 2015.
Justices Chandrachud and Kohli said the problem could be solved if a person, who was an office-bearer of a state association for two consecutive terms, is allowed to contest for BCCI elections.
If elected, he can serve two consecutive terms in BCCI before the cooling off period is applied to him, it said. This means in a certain situation, it would be possible for a person to serve up to a maximum of 12 years cumulatively in a state association and BCCI before the mandatory cooling-off period.
No formal orders were passed on Tuesday. The bench asked Singh to draft an agreed amendment after consulting Mehta and place it before the court on Wednesday for further debate.
Though the court would pass formal orders on Wednesday after vetting the finalized amendment, the development appeared encouraging for both BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to attempt a second term in BCCI.
Under the existing provisions of the BCCI constitution, their continuance as president and secretary would have faced legal hurdles as both have already had three-year stints in Bengal and Gujarat cricket associations respectively prior to their elections to the present posts.