The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has moved the Supreme Court seeking modification of its 2016 order and to enable it to annually or biennially undertake financial, compliance and performance audit of the BCCI and state cricket associations.
The CAG, in its application, has sought modification of the July 18, 2016 order by which the apex court had accepted the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha committee, including the one regarding inclusion of a nominee of the CAG in the apex council of the BCCI and also in the governing council of Indian Premier Leauge (IPL).
It said that out of the 35 state cricket associations, only 18 have requested nominations till date and these have been made by the CAG while the remaining 17 are yet to approach the nominating officers.
From December 4, 2019 till today, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has convened two apex council meetings and three IPL governing council meetings and its nominee has attended them, the CAG said .
Seeking reconsideration of the apex court’s 2016 directive, the CAG has given suggestions in the application “to ensure better redressal of concerns of the court and also to ensure more effective implementation of the recommendations of Justice Lodha committee.”
It said that being the supreme audit institution of India, the CAG’s specialization is audit.
“Therefore, the CAG may be considered for intervention in the affairs of BCCI/state cricket associations only for the purpose of audit – either as a routine e.g. annual, biennial etc or as and when directed by this court,” it said.
“Needless to say, the cost of audit will be charged to the BCCI/state cricket associations and deposited to government account, as is being done in certain cases where audit of the statutory corporations such as Airports Authority of India, Food Corporation of India, National Highways Authority of India etc is undertaken by the CAG,” it said.
It said the oversight role for the CAG, as envisaged by the top court, would be fulfilled and it would help bring about more transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in the functioning of BCCI and state cricket associations which would be consistent with recommendations of the Lodha committee as well the 2016 order.
“It is most humbly submitted on behalf of the CAG that having regard to the observations/ experience gained by its nominee for last six months (after December 4, 2019) the objective sought to be achieved by this court by the nomination of the CAG representative has not been achieved as CAG’s representative has become part of the management decisions (taken by majority)rather than CAG having an oversight functions over decisions of the BCCI ,” the application said.
It said that the nominations of CAG’s representative on BCCI’s apex council, IPL’s governing council and apex councils/management committees of the state cricket associations “may be reconsidered” by the apex court.
“It is the humble submission of the CAG that the aforesaid directions would assist in achieving the objective envisaged for the CAG by the Justice Lodha committee,” it said.
In its July 18, 2016 order, the apex court had agreed with Justice Lodha committee’s recommendation to include a nominee of CAG as a member of BCCI, saying it would bring in transparency and financial oversight into the affairs of the national governing body for cricket.
While upholding the recommendations of the panel, the court had brushed aside the objection of BCCI that inclusion of these officials at the state level and in the national cricket governing body would amount to government interference leading to its de-recognition by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The Lodha committee was constituted in January 2015 by the apex court to examine and make suitable recommendations for effective working of BCCI and state cricket associations.