The Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) has moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against BCCI office-bearers for allegedly making ‘libelous’ statements and terming the Justice R M Lodha Committee as bogus and its recommendations as unconstitutional and illegal.
The plea sought initiation of suo motu proceedings for criminal contempt against the BCCI office-bearers for making direct and indirect attacks on the judges of Supreme Court and the institution of the courts.
“That calling the Justice Lodha Committee as bogus and terming the recommendations as unconstitutional, illegal and null and void are acts which are in defiance of the judgment passed by this Court. The other statements made by the Contemnor no. 3 (Justice Katju) are clearly libelous,” the plea filed through CAB secretary Aditya Verma said.
The plea has named BCCI president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke and Justice Markandey Katju as respondents.
It said the acts of the Contemnors are deliberate, malicious and for oblique motives aimed at subverting the course of justice, tending to lower the dignity of apex court and stalling the implementation of the July 18 judgment regarding implementation of structral reforms as recommended by Justice Lodha led panel in BCCI.
“BCCI is under a constitutional mandate to act in a just and fair manner and it discharges public function. The ICC is a global governing body for International cricket of which BCCI is a full-time member,” the plea said.
The Supreme Court had on July 18 rejected the objections of BCCI and directed the cricket body to implement structural reforms recommendation recommended by Justice Lodha panel.
Verma had supported the recommendations of the Lodha panel and was also instrumental in bringing to the court the issues pertaining to the IPL spot fixing which led to the scrapping of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals out of IPL and ousting of the then BCCI President N Srinivasan.
The plea further said the contemnors, who are obviously unhappy with the judgment, have come with a ploy to openly denigrate the judges who had passed the judgment and also the Justice Lodha Committee with a view to stonewall the implementation of the judgment.
“As a strategy, almost on a daily basis statements are being made in the electronic and print media which are not innocent criticism of the judgment passed by this Court but an elaborate vilification campaign undertaken through the powerful tool of the Media with a view to drum up public opinion that the judiciary of the country is transgressing its limits. The apparent effort seems to be to browbeat the judiciary,” the plea said.
It said the intentions of the BCCI officers are malafide is evident from the media campaign that is being carried out at their behest.
The plea further said that Thakur and Shirke appointed Justice Katju to head the legal office of the BCCI ostensibly to advise it on the judgment passed by the apex court.
It said the most serious comments which are contemptuous have been made by Justice Katju on his Facebook page on August 8 and the comments made therein are “insidious and a clear attempt at browbeating the judiciary into having a rehearing of the case by changing the constitution of the Bench”.
The apex court on July 18 had accepted major recommendations of the Lodha Committee on reforms in BCCI including a bar on ministers and civil servants and those above 70 from becoming its members, but left it to Parliament to decide whether it should come under RTI and betting on the game should be legalised.