Himanta, Rihon’s oust imminent from ACA after SC’s order on Lodha Committee recommendation

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Supreme Court’s order to implement Justice Lodha Committee recommendations has compelled oust of 23 office bearers of Assam Cricket Association (ACA) from the cricket body. These included Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and State PHE Minister Rihon Daimary among others.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and businessman Pradip Buragohain were selected president and secretary respectively of the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) for the next four years in its annual general meeting held last year. The State PHE minister Rihon Daimary was also elected to the ACA.

Himanta Biswa’s brother and police officer Sushanta Biswa Sarma’s oust from the ACA was imminent after the Court’s order. The secretary of ACA Pradip Buragohain , who is a businessman would also have left the state cricket body .

The Justice RM Lodha Committee made several groundbreaking recommendations to the Supreme Court. These included almost a complete restructuring of the BCCI, creation of a separate body to govern IPL, a ban on ministers or government servants holding posts in the BCCI, and more.

The Lodha committee was formed after the spot-fixing and betting scandal emerged during the 2013 leg of the Indian Premier League. In July 2016, the apex court had directed the BCCI to either implement the Lodha recommendations or face consequences.

The Committee identified several issues with respect to the governance of the BCCI and other cricket associations in the country. These issues included: (a) concentration and abuse of power in certain sections leading to mismanagement; (b) incompetence and lack of experience in office bearers and elected officials; (c) inadequate or lack of representation of former players and women; (d) unlimited terms and tenures for office bearers and officials; and (e) absence of grounds for disqualification from holding posts.

Justice RM Lodha Committee has submitted its report to the Supreme Court suggesting reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). After the BCCI row, former sportspersons approached the court seeking to have the recommendations brought in at other federations to check irregularities.

The panel’s recommendations include sacking septuagenarians and also disqualifying bureaucrats and ministers from the BCCI. The committee also suggested ousting non-Indian office-bearers as well as those who do not hold any position in other sports association besides cricket.

The Supreme Court questioned why the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee – meant to revamp the Board of Control for Cricket in India – should not be implemented to check irregularities in other sporting bodies in the country.

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