The Supreme Court has allowed the amendments in BCCI’s cooling off period, meaning that president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah can retain their respective positions in the board. Both, Ganguly and Shah’s respective first terms at the board had come to an end earlier in September due to the mandatory ‘cooling off period’; it can now be changed, however.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said that an office bearer can have continuous tenure of 12 years which includes six years in State Association and six years in BCCI before the cooling-off period of three years triggers.
The bench said that an office bearer can serve on a particular post for two consecutive terms, both at the BCCI and the State Association level, after which he would have to serve three years cooling-off period.
“The purpose of the cooling-off period is not to create undesirable monopolies”, the bench said.
The top court’s order came on the Board’s plea seeking to amend its constitution concerning the tenure of its office bearers including its President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah by doing away with the mandatory cooling-off period between tenures of office bearers across state cricket associations and the BCCI.
The BCCI, in its proposed amendment, has sought the abolition of a cooling-off period for its office bearers which would enable Ganguly and Shah to continue in office as President and Secretary despite them having completed six years at respective state cricket associations.
As per the constitution adopted currently by the BCCI, an office bearer had to undergo a three-year cooling-off period between two consecutive terms in either the state association or the BCCI or both combined. Before his appointment to the BCCI, Ganguly had served as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in 2014, while Jay Shah was an office bearer in Gujarat Cricket Association since 2013.
Their tenure was technically under “extension” since the Supreme Court had not heard the plea for amendment of the rules or given any orders regarding their removal from office.
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for BCCI, told a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli, that the game of cricket is substantially streamlined in the country.
He submitted that the apex court has said that when the bye-laws will go into functional preparedness, some changes could be made with the leave of the court.
He said that the BCCI is an autonomous body and all the changes have been considered by the AGM of the cricket body.
While the submission was being made, the bench said “BCCI is an autonomous body. We cannot micro-manage its functioning.”
(With PTI inputs)