Report No. 275
E. Lodha Committee Report, 201635
2.15 It is true that there exist measures to ensure a certain level of transparency and accountability in the functioning of societies in India, but then these measures have proved to be inadequate to effectively combat corruption and other irregularities that have made their way into the mode of operation of these societies.
Taking this into consideration the Supreme Court appointed a Committee comprising of Justice R.M.Lodha, former Chief Justice of India, Justice Ashok Bhan, Justice R.V.Raveendran, former Judges of the Supreme Court. This Committee was mandated inter alia to examine and make suitable recommendations to the BCCI for reforms in its practices and procedures and necessary amendments in the Memorandum of Association and Rules & Regulations.
2.16 The Committee prepared and distributed a questionnaire containing a hundred and thirty-five questions under eight different heads such as organisation, structure and leadership; audit, accounts and finances; oversight and transparency etc. The Committee also conducted over thirty-five days of sittings in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and New Delhi interacting with seventy-four persons around India including Former Captains, International and First-Class Players, Coaches, Managers, Administrators, Journalists, Talent scouts, Authors, Lawyers, Club Owners, Selectors and also a former Chief Justice of a High Court.
Additionally, the Committee extensively examined media reports, documentaries, other published material, draft legislation, books and articles, alongwith several "unsolicited (but always welcome) missives from cricket fans, local experts and administrators about how maladministration is rife in all parts of the country."
2.17 The Committee made the following key recommendations:
- The Legislature must "seriously consider" bringing BCCI under the purview of the RTI Act.
- There should be a Steering Committee headed by former Home Secretary G.K. Pillai with former national cricketers, Mohinder Amarnath, Diana Eduljiand Anil Kumble as members.
- The term of an office bearer of BCCI shall not be of more than 3 years.
- An office bearer can have a maximum of three terms in all.
- No office bearer shall have consecutive terms. There shall be a cooling-off period at the end of each term.
- There should be a separate governing body for the IPL.
- Players and BCCI officials should disclose their assets to the Board as a measure to ensure they do not bet.
- In the interest of democratic representations of states, it proposed 'One State - One Member - One Vote'. Also, no proxy voting of individuals should be permitted.
- No BCCI office-bearer should be Minister or government servant. 30
2.18 The Lodha Committee was aware that its recommendations would most likely invoke varied responses from stakeholders, but it believed that, with the Supreme Court of India feeling need to step-in to restore the game of cricket in India to its pristine glory, stern steps recommended by the Committee were inevitable.
2.19 Thus, it can be seen that the issues revolving around the right to information, lack of transparency and accountability within various sectors of public importance, have been discussed time and again. The legal status of the bodies representing these sectors has been a moot question. Consequently, invoking the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, in the matter concerning actions of these bodies or inactions thereof, has become the order of the day.