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Justice Markandey Katju calls Lodha committee report illegal and unconstitutional

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Justice Markandey Katju (Image Credit: universityex.com)

Justice Markandey Katju has come hard on Supreme Court appointed Lodha committee. Retired SC judge Katju was appointed by the BCCI to look into the report and findings of Lodha committee.

Justice Katju presented the report to the BCCI in a formal event in New Delhi and his report stressed that the Supreme Court order is legislative in nature.

The report added, “The matter ought to have been forwarded by the Supreme Court with the Lodha committee recommendations to Parliament with its own recommendation. So that Parliament could enact a law if required.”

The report also pointed out that the order does not apply to State Associations as it infringes the rights in Article 19 © of the constitution.

Lodha committee was formed under the watch of SC after the spot-fixing fiasco and match fixing, which happened during the 2013 edition of the IPL. The controversy was the last thing BCCI needed and cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested. Team owners Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra were also booked for illegaly betting on their teams.

On January 4, 2016, the Supreme Court released the recommendations made by the three-member Lodha panel. The proposals were mainly aimed at structural changes for better governance. Age and tenure caps, one-state-one-vote and accountability and distribution of BCCI’s funds were mainly in focus.

“What the Supreme Court has done is unconstitutional and illegal. There has been violation of principles of the Constitution. Under our Constitution, we have legislature, executive and judiciary. There is broad separation of functions. It’s the legislature’s prerogative to make laws. If judiciary starts making laws, one is setting a dangerous precedent,” Katju said at a media conference.

“I have advised them (BCCI) to file a review petition before a larger bench. In this case, the Supreme Court outsourced a committee (referring to Lodha Committee) to decide on BCCI’s punishment,” he said.

Markandey Katju, who was earlier Press Council of India chairman, has strong views regarding the matter and it will be interesting to see what happens next in the BCCI and the Lodha committee saga.