Cricket news - CAG goes to Supreme Court to exit Apex Council of BCCI

Will there be another change at the top?

Will there be another change at the top?

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), on Wednesday (July 8), filed an application with the Supreme Court to exit the BCCI Apex Council and the IPL Governing Council.

Recently, the current CAG representative in the BCCI, Alka Rehani Bharadwaj, had brought forth the issue of eligibility of office bearers to attend the Apex Council meeting, scheduled for July 17. Her email, accessed by Cricbuzz, had put the spotlight on the tenure of BCCI Secretary Jay Shah, which included questioning his eligibility. Under the Board's current constitution, those who have completed a six-year term have to serve a mandatory cooling-off period. Even as Shah was elected as Gujarat's joint secretary in 2013, it is unclear when his tenure ends.

"The President/ Joint Secretary BCCI (who would be presumably officiating as Secretary after vacation of Secretary BCCI post) need to also ensure that 4th Apex Council meeting is attended by only members, eligible as per the Constitution," Bharadwaj had written in an email to the apex council members. "Any decision on this matter may please be backed by facts and endorsed legally. This is being reiterated only to ensure compliance with Honourable Supreme Court approved Constitution."

The CAG, which was brought into the BCCI constitution under the Lodha recommendations with the view of having adequate checks on governance, has now filed an application where it requests the Supreme Court that its functioning be modified.

The CAG in its application, accessed by Cricbuzz, states, "The Apex Council & Governing Council are charged with governance functions, required to take management decisions which are administrative in nature. Whereas, the expertise of CAG is in financial transparency, therefore the current role played by the CAG nominee in BCCI is completely different from their field of expertise.

"The CAG nominee being a part of Apex Council or IPL GC is just one of the member, and since decisions are taken in majority the inclusion of CAG nominee as a member in Apex Council or IPL GC is not serving the objectives."

It further stated, "Over 120 complaints received alleging violations of BCCI or State Associations, complaints by several individuals often run into dozen of pages. Generally, these complaints are in nature of conflicts and may or may not flag specific issues of commission and omission. Overloading the officer who is a nominee in BCCI/State Association, districts from his core function in CAG office.

"CAG has been precluded from carrying out any audit, or being the auditor of last resort, or even advising any authority; if the audit of BCCI conducted by private CA/accounting firm is fair, just and reasonable... Nomination of CAG's representative on BCCI's Apex Council, IPL GC, Apex Councils/Managing Committee of State Associations may be reconsidered."

The CAG eventually requests that it continue auditing BCCI in timely intervals or to allow it to nominate a panel of auditors under its supervision to continue the governance measures under the Lodha reforms.

A member of CAG was included in the BCCI Apex Council as part of the Lodha recommendations "The BCCI has not embraced the modern principles of open governance, which is all the more necessary while discharging such far reaching public functions," the Justice Lodha Committee report stated. "The Working Committee consists entirely of representatives, thereby making its functioning a closed-door affair with no representation of players or audit experts to act as checks on governance.

And, as a solution, had recommended a member of the CAG to be included in the apex council. "The nominee of the CAG also brings financial and audit experience which would bring much required oversight into monitoring the finances of BCCI."

The recommendations were implemented less than a year ago and the new members took charge.