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BCCI moves SC to release funds for India-England test tomorrow

BCCI

New Delhi : The BCCI today rushed to the Supreme Court seeking disbursal of funds to the state cricket associations, saying the non-disbursal would lead to cancellation of the first cricket test match to be played between India and England at Rajkot tomorrow.

The bench, comprising Justices A R Dave and A M Khanwilkar, said it will discuss the matter with Chief Justice T S Thakur during the day and the CJI will take a call when to hear the BCCI plea.

The CJI, who has been heading the bench hearing matters pertaining to implementation of the recommendations given by Justice R M Lodha panel, is currently holding a seven-judge constitution bench.

“There is a problem in holding the test match commencing from tomorrow. We cannot release funds. There is an order of the Supreme Court asking state cricket associations to file undertakings that they will comply with the Lodha panel recommendations. This has not been done so far,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for BCCI, said.

If money is not given, then the match will be cancelled tomorrow, Sibal said when Justice Dave said he will discuss with CJI during lunch to explore the possibility as to whether the plea can be heard tomorrow.

The counsel representing the Lodha panel told the bench that the apex cricket body is in contempt by not obeying the apex court’s direction in the issue.

“You (Lodha panel) can proceed in contempt but you cannot stall the matches,” Sibal said highlighting the fact the disbursal of the funds to the state cricket association was vital for holding cricket match between India and England.

The bench, after the brief hearing, asked BCCI to mention the matter again at 2 PM before it.

Earlier the apex court had made it clear that there will be no disposal of funds to the state cricket bodies till they file an undertaking that they would comply with the recommendations of the Lodha panel on reforms in cricket in the country.

The apex court had on October 21 directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke to give an undertaking on affidavit before the Lodha panel and in apex court by December 3 stating how much time they would need to implement reforms.

It had on October 7 directed Thakur to explain by filing a “personal affidavit”, the allegation “whether he had asked the CEO of the ICC to state that the appointment of Justice Lodha Committee was tantamount to government interference in the working of the BCCI”.

The court had also ordered that no further amount should be disbursed to state associations by BCCI, except where the State Association concerned passes a resolution saying it is agreeable to undertake and support the reforms as proposed and accepted by this Court in letter and spirit.

The apex court had said the 13 State Associations, to whom the payment has already been disbursed, shall not appropriate the amount, except after they have passed a resolution to abide by reforms suggested.

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