SC withholds order, allows BCCI to suggest names for panel of administrators

NEW DELHI: And the wait continues. And Indian cricket remains headless and in limbo. The Supreme Court Tuesday held back an order to name the interim committee to oversee the daily operations of the the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

The Apex Court also allowed the beleaguered cricket body to recommend their own set of names in a sealed envelope.

The three-Judge Bench appeared to be following the cue given by the Centre, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who contended that the Court should hold back the order by two weeks as the government was mulling over a legislation to regulate sports bodies in India.   

Rohatgi, representing Universities, Railways and Services, had on Friday asked for the recall of Supreme Court's July 18, 2016, order asking the BCCI to implement the Lodha Panel recommendations in totality.

In his arguments Tuesday, Rohatgi also sought that that the Services Sports Board and Railway Sports Board be allowed to have government officials as office-bearers and also that keep their voting rights in the BCCI. So much for "independent" sports bodies. 

And what of the names given by amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium and senior lawyer Anil Divan, and the separate list given by the petitioner in the case - the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar? They will all add to the "options" the Supreme Court will have before it if and when the Bench finally decides to take a decision on the matter.

About the only definitive point that came out of Tuesday's deliberations is that the Supreme Court has made clear it will not consider persons of above 70 years of age for the administrative posts.

Seeing the direction this case is now taking, it will surprise no one if the Supreme Court refers the matter to a bigger Bench. And then what? Wait some more.