Supreme Court Appoints Retired Justice DK Jain as BCCI’s First Ombudsman; Warns CoA Members Not to Bring Issues in Public Domain

Supreme Court Appoints Retired Justice DK Jain as BCCI’s First Ombudsman; Warns CoA Members Not to Bring Issues in Public Domain

Today, the Supreme Court took its initiative concerning many issues which needs to be cleared into which BCCI finds itself involved in and thereby appointed retired Justice DK Jain as the first ombudsman for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) who is expected to take his charge as soon as possible.

The matter was listed for today to hear BCCI’s issues in which the division bench comprising of Justice S A Bobde and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said that they appointed former Judge of Supreme Court, Justice D K Jain as an ombudsman for BCCI because all the parties accepted his name for the position.

The top court observed that it was "partially aware" of what was going on in the Committee of Administrators (CoA) therefore warned Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji , members of CoA to not bring their differences public.

The bench stated, "We have thought to tell the amicus curiae to inform CoA members that whosoever is involved, they should not bring it in public domain. It should not come in public domain".

Notably, the apex court had appointed a four-member CoA headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai in 2017 to run the affairs of BCCI and implement the court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body.

Presently CoA has only two members, Rai and Edulji following the resignation of Ramachandra Guha and Vikram Limaye. The two-member CoA has been divided on several matters including the recent controversy involving cricketers Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul who are criticized for their alleged misogynistic comments on TV Show 'Koffee with Karan' and also controversy relating to exclusion of Indian women cricketer Mithali Raj.

Rai recommended a two-match ban on Pandya and Rahul whereas Edulji had taken the matter to the legal cell of BCCI and recommended the appointment of an ombudsman.

The counsel, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing state cricket association told the court that CoA has not released funds to them, in his argument he stated that, "not a single penny has been given to the state cricket associations" for the last three years.

On it Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for the CoA, informed the court that funds were released directly to the respective vendors for the works done by them.

The bench asked P S Narasimha assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the BCCI matter to advise the CoA to release funds to the state cricket associations for cricketing purpose.

Meanwhile, the apex court issued notice to the CoA on an application of BJP leader Anurag Thakur, who was removed by the top court from the post of BCCI president in 2017 for obstructing its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body, that he be allowed to contest and get back into the elected body of the BCCI.

Anurag Thakur through his advocate P S Patwalia alleged that he had been barred from BCCI and have no remedy for the last two years.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
Committee of Administrators (COA)
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)

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