COA Recommends Amendment to Conflict of Interest Rule in Final Report
The outgoing Committee of Administrators (CoA) has recommended an amendment to the conflict of interest rule in its 11th and final status report submitted to the Supreme Court.
The contentious rule was applied to former cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Kapil Dev, who were all forced to quit the Cricket Advisory Committee after Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member Sanjeev Gupta raised complaints over them being in the breach of the rule.
The CoA has now said that the rules were open to interpretation in a "straight-jacketed" manner, and has implied that they were unnecessarily restrictive. Rahul Dravid's role as director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) is also in danger after the BCCI ethics officer acknowledged Gupta's complaint against Dravid.
"The CoA, in its tenure, has come across various instances where the rules pertaining to conflict of interest have been applied to positions and scenarios which in its view didn't warrant such application. Possibly, this was a result of straight-jacketed application of rules. A few of the concerns stemming from such straight-jacketed application include absolute prohibition on former players from occupying multiple, or two unrelated/remotely related posts, undue restrictions on the current players (not on an annual contract with the BCCI) from being gainfully employed even outside the BCCI during the offseason," the COA report read.
"The proscriptions contained in rule 38 (4) of the BCCI constitution are capable of being interpreted in a very straight-jacketed manner, which is proving to be counter-productive and disproportionately restrictive to players."
The report suggests that the BCCI Ethics Officer should be allowed to exercise discretion and flexibility while dealing with cases of conflict of interest, rather than strictly being bound by a formula that is applied across the board.
The COA has suggeste an "Amendment to Rule 38 of the BCCI constitution vide insertion of certain clauses and sub-clauses."
"The same has been outlined in the report prepared by CoA upon consultation with various stakeholders, including current and former cricketers, cricket administrators, persons specializing in the study of ethics and legal experts. The suggestions are made with the objective of clarifying a few aspects covered by the prevalent conflict of interest rules, which have proved to be problematic, whilst retaining their original character and spirit," the report proposed.