Last Update on: July 21st, 2020 at 08:47 am
Justice AK Patnaik has said Sourav Ganguly must step down as the president once his term comes to an end as per the new board constitution. Justice Patnaik, who retired in 2014, is the same justice who had knocked out strongman N Srinivasan as the president of the BCCI in 2014 in the wake of the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and match-fixing scandal.
He headed a Supreme Court bench that started hearing the 2013 IPL betting and fixing scandal involving Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. The case, which is still active and forms the bedrock of all BCCI related litigation, saw a Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators run the board for almost three years.
The BCCI finally held the election last year and Sourav Ganguly took charge of the board. Along with the former India skipper, Jay Shah and Arun Singh Dhumal also joined the board as secretary and treasurer, respectively. Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah’s tenures, however, have been creating a lot of controversy because of the new BCCI constitution.
As per the new constitution, an administrator can only serve six years on the trot at the state association or the board or a combination of both. After the completion of six years, the administrator has to serve a mandatory ‘cooling-off’ period. Both Sourav Ganguly and Shah had served as administrators in state associations before being elected as BCCI officials.
As per the new constitution, Shah’s tenure ended in May while Sourav Ganguly’s tenure will end on July 27. However, Shah is yet to leave his post while Sourav Ganguly also looks set to continue as the BCCI president.
“If the rule book says Ganguly and Shah have to cool off, then they should just go. Nobody is indispensable,” Justice Patnaik told Outlook.
Justice Patnaik further said BCCI “must not be allowed to go back to its old ways.” Saying that the “cooling off period should remain,” Justice Patnaik said now it all depends on how the Supreme Court handled the matter.
“If somebody continues for long, he develops an interest in the organisation. Once the person develops interest in the organisation, then that organisation is gone. It is happening in our country and in different spheres. It is happening in political parties,” said the 71-year-old Patnaik.
Earlier this year in April, the BCCI filed an application in Supreme Court asking that the cooling-off period be waived off. The apex court has not reacted to that appeal so far.
Patnaik then went on to say that the idea behind asking “powerful” people like Srinivasan to step aside was to enable cricketers to come to the forefront of the game’s administration.
“I was very happy to see Ganguly becoming president but now they are asking for changes (in the Lodha reforms) and the political people have come in again. So this is not what we had envisioned. We never wanted people who loved power and position and with no interest in the institution to run sport,” he said.