18 May, 2021

The Umpire Doesn’t Hold A Bat

It is not the judiciary’s job to bring about changes in a statutory body, even if it is the controversial Board of Control for Cricket in India

Justice Lodha (left) at a Delhi press conference after the IPL spot-fixing judgement
Photograph by Sanjay Rawat
The Umpire Doesn’t Hold A Bat

I have been accused by some people of supporting an allegedly corrupt body, the BCCI. It is true that there are some defects in the BCCI, just as there are some defects in the judiciary, the media, Bollywood, the medical profession, etc. But the issues I have raised in my report to the BCCI, which can be seen on the website BCCI.tv, raise some very basic questions.

1. Does the judiciary have power to legislate?

The order of the Supreme Court dated July 18 is legislative in nature, as it directs the BCCI to implement most of the recommendations of the Lodha Committee. For instance, an age cap of 70 years, and a maximum tenure of nine years, has been fixed for BCCI office-bearers. Now, the Supreme Court has itself ruled in T.P. George vs State of Kerala, 1992, Supp 3 S.C.C.191 (para 6), that the age of superannuation cannot be fixed by the judiciary, only by the legislature or the executive. How then can it fix the age cap for BCCI office-bearers? If that is permissible, then the judiciary can also fix an age cap...

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