Hearing of Ganguly-Shah case: Supreme Court not in favor of ending the cooling off period

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) is an autonomous body and cannot micro-manage its functioning. The court also asked the BCCI why it wanted a person above the age of 70 to represent it in the International Cricket Council (ICC). The top court made the remarks during the hearing of the board’s plea seeking amendments to its constitution with regard to the tenure of office bearers including its president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah.

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This includes doing away with the mandatory ‘cooling off’ period (not holding any office for three years) between the tenures of state cricket associations and BCCI office-bearers. The court said that the cooling-off period between the tenure of office bearers will not be terminated as “the purpose of the cooling-off period is that there should be no vested interest”. Then the order will pass.

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As per the BCCI constitution, an office-bearer has to undergo a cooling-off period of three years between two consecutive terms in the state association or BCCI or both jointly. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the BCCI, told a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that the game of cricket in the country is quite systematic. He said that the BCCI is an autonomous body and all the changes were considered at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the cricket body.

Earlier, a committee headed by Justice RM Lodha had recommended amendments to the BCCI which was accepted by the Supreme Court.

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