The Hon’ble J&K HC (Bench at Srinagar) on 23rd March 2021 directed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (hereinafter referred to as “BCCI”) to run the management, control, and administration of the J&K Cricket Association (hereinafter referred to as “JKCA”) as a temporary measure till a new body of JKCA is elected whereafter the management, control, and administration shall be handed over to the newly elected members of the Association.
The Hon’ble division bench delivered the judgment in a cluster of applications and petitions challenging the order passed by the single judge directing that Mr. Justice C. K. Prasad, retired Judge of the Supreme Court, and Mr. Justice Syed Rafat Alam, Chief Justice of M.P. and Allahabad High Courts shall act as Managers of the JKCA to ensure its free and fair elections.
Needful to mention that inventiveness was undertaken by the Kashmir Cricket Club in 1957 wherein a Committee submitted a report resulting in the framing of JKCA Rules. Thereafter, with the popularity gained by the game of cricket, BCCI was tasked as an apex body to control the activities of the game in India, affecting the functioning of many Cricket Associations in India.
The basis of the claims rests on the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee. Which were duly recognized by the Hon’ble SC in the vide judgment of BCCI & Ors vs. Cricket Association of Bihar & Ors, 2016.
The administrative opinion so formulated by the Committee instructed the affiliate State Associations of the BCCI to make necessary modifications in their Rules/ MOA/ Constitutions to bring them in tune with the recommendations made by the Committee.
However, JKCA, being in total disentanglement with the said recommendations, did not implement the guiding principle framed by the Committee.
The order passed by the single judge was later upheld by the Hon’ble division bench with numerous changes and modifications as regards a direction to the JKCA that any disputes inter se various organisations affiliated to it mean to be resolved by an Ombudsman to be appointed by the Hon’ble Court.
Thereafter a draft of the Constitution of the BCCI was approved by the Hon’ble Apex Court, wherein the Hon’ble Court engaged all the members of BCCI, including JKCA, to undertake registration of their Constitutions on parallel lines. Given this, JKCA framed the MOA and Rules and Regulations and got them registered
According to the petitioners it was submitted before the Hon’ble Single Bench that the Court Appointed Administrators (CAA) of JKCA went beyond its mandate of amending its earlier Constitution registered in the year 1957 to make it in line with the endorsements of the Lodha Committee by bordering an entirely new Constitution of JKCA.
Subsequently, the Hon’ble Single Bench dismissed the petitions by stating that the subject matter rests within the domain of the Hon’ble SC. The said verdict was afterwards challenged, forming the key foundation of the judgment.
The Hon’ble Court went ahead to observe that the “BCCI, appointed with the inclusive ,management of the doings of the game of cricket in India and of which the JKCA is an member, is in position with its newly accepted Constitution, BCCI shall be an appropriate authority to answer the above articulated question in the light of its newly approved Constitution. The BCCI is anticipated to have all proficiency required for answering this question, being the supreme body for managing and controlling the activities of the game of cricket in India, including the J&K. Besides, that BCCI has also filed an submission for handing over the concerns of the JKCA to it till such time the elections of the office bearers of the JKCA are conducted under its supervision.”
The Court thereafter issued the following directions:
- Given the challenge was thrown to the amended Constitution/ MOA and Rules and Regulations framed by the CAA of the JKCA, coupled with the contentions raised about the mandate exercised by the CAA as well as the role played by the CEO nominated by the Hon’ble Court shall stand discontinued.
- The BCCI shall, as an interim measure and till a new body of the JKCA is elected under its supervision, run the management, control, and administration of the JKCA immediately upon being handed over the same by the CAA.
- The BCCI shall while finalize the amendment, if any, in the Constitution of the JKCA, in conformity with the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee as approved by the Hon’ble SC, consult all the stakeholders, including the parties litigating before this Court.
- The BCCI shall ensure the promotion of cricketing activities in J&K as well as in Ladakh in tune with its approved Constitution and at par with other affiliated Associations from various States and Union Territories of the country.
- The BCCI shall ensure that the required infrastructure on the ground is improved and made available to the cricketers of J&K and Ladakh without waiting for any audit report.
- The BCCI shall make every endeavor to ensure that the boys and girls playing the game of cricket in J&K and Ladakh, from different age groups, are provided all facilities to excel in the game of cricket not only on national but also at the international level.
- The BCCI, given the task assigned to it as indicated above, shall be authorized to appoint a Committee/ sub-Committee to run, administer, control, and supervise the affairs of the JKCA till the elections are held and a body of the JKCA is elected under its supervision, whereafter the administration, control, and supervision of the JKCA shall be handed over to the newly-elected office-bearers of the Association.
- Deputy Commissioner of Jammu as well of Srinagar shall cooperate with the BCCI for ensuring implementation of the aforesaid directions passed in this judgment for any requisitioned assistance. They shall confirm preparation of an catalogue of the movable and immovable property of the JKCA and furnishing the same, along with the list of assets and liabilities of JKCA as existing on the date of this judgment.