CAG requests Supreme Court not to be included in BCCI's apex council

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Women's CricZone Staff
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The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has requested the Supreme Court not be be included in the Apex Council of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as originally directed by the apex court in 2016.



As per the Lodha Committee recommendations made four years ago, the Supreme Court had ruled that the CAG representative must be included in the apex council of the BCCI and the affiliated state associations. However, Sportstar reported, that in an interlocutory application filed on July 3, the CAG has requested for the apex court to "modify" its order, instead using CAG to audit the various cricketing bodies.



“The CAG may be considered for intervention in the affairs of BCCI/State Cricket Associations only for the purpose of audit - either as routine, e.g. annual, biennial etc., or as and when directed by this Hon’ble Court,” states the application filed on July 3, accessed by the publication.



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Although some of the state associations had already implemented many of the suggested reforms, it wasn't until December 2019 that the BCCI agreed to include a CAG representative in their apex council.



Since then, however, it is understood that the original purpose of including a CAG representative as part of the council ("oversight function") has not been served. Instead, the representative "has become part of management decisions", the application claimed.



“It is most humbly submitted on behalf of the CAG that having regard to the observations/experience gained by its nominees for last almost six months (after 4-12-2019), the objective sought to be achieved by this Hon’ble Court by the nomination of the CAG representative has not been achieved as CAG’s representative has become part of management decisions (taken by majority) rather than CAG having an oversight function over decisions of the BCCI; in fact, CAG has been precluded from carrying out any audit, or being the auditor of last resort, or even of advising any authority, including this Hon’ble Court, if the audit of BCCI conducted by private CAs or accounting firms is fair, just and reasonable. Therefore, an imminent necessity has arisen for consideration of the issues raised and the prayer made on behalf of the CAG in the present application,” the application states.



The application goes on to declare that in the current structure, the CAG representative has been reduced to one of the nine voting members of the board's apex council. Since the BCCI is audited by private firms, the CAG cannot look into any of the complaints ("more than 120 complaints") they have received alleging financial irregularities in various cricket associations.



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It was earlier reported that the CAG nominee Alka Rehani Bharadwaj has raised several concerns through her short stint as part of the BCCI management. The most recent of those came when she objected to Jay Shah continuing to serve as BCCI secretary.



Shah's tenure reportedly ended last month, after which he has been forced into a cooling off period. Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, is also due to serve his cooling off period once his tenure ends later this month. Earlier in the year, vice-president Mahim Verma resigned after taking up the position of secretary of Uttarakhand Cricket Association.



The BCCI has, however, filed a 'prayer' in the Supreme Court, requesting to modify its previous order that will suit both Shah and Ganguly to continue in office till October 2022. Shah has continued to serve as secretary.



“In view of pending Honourable Supreme Court hearing on cooling off period clause, the reconstitution of Apex council warranted due to ending/coming to end of tenure of Vice President/Secretary/President BCCI needs to be kept as an agenda item,” Bharadwaj wrote to other apex council members on July 4 after receiving the notice and agenda for the apex council meeting scheduled on July 17.
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