CoA will demit office on October 23: Vinod Rai
- Vinod Rai says October 23, when BCCI conducts its Annual General Meeting, will be the COA's last day in office
- It is not correct that the COA asked for deferment of elections. It has only been rescheduled by one day because of the state elections in Haryana and Maharashtra: Rai
MUMBAI: Vinod Rai, the chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), says October 23 – the day when BCCI conducts its Annual General Meeting (AGM) – will be the COA's last day in office.
"We (COA members) will demit that very evening (Oct 23)," Rai told TOI on Wednesday.
In an exclusive chat, the retired bureaucrat — who has helmed the BCCI administrators 33 months now — denied that deferment of elections had been sought, explained how it was in consultation with the amicus curiae that the COA’s last two advisories were sent out, reiterated that the SC heard the COA counsel on Tuesday and once again underlined that members (state associations) were interpreting the SC order on disqualification to suit their own convenience.
“It is not correct that the COA asked for deferment of elections. It has only been rescheduled by one day because of the state elections in Haryana and Maharashtra. The elections will certainly be held on October 23 and that date is final,” Rai said and that should put all debate to rest on whether the COA will any further attempt in postponing the elections.
In fact, Rai added that it was the amicus, PS Narsimha, who has played a very important role in making the elections happen and it is in consultation with him that the last two advisories were issued by the COA’s office. “The amicus has been very involved in the whole process. The COA drafted both the recent advisories in consultation with him. I have to say he has been extremely helpful in carrying out the reforms. The COA did not ask the Amicus for any deferment of elections,” Rai said.
The ex-CAG insists that there is no confusion over how the order of the Supreme Court has to be interpreted, be it the disqualification rule or apex council members. “The Supreme Court order of August 9, 2018 was the final order and it is on the basis of that order that the COA sent out the latest advisory on Tuesday (regarding disqualification rules),” says Rai.
The September 20, 2019 order of the SC, however, states (in verbatim): “We direct that disqualification shall be confined only to those who had held the post of ‘office bearers’ of the cricket associations. This order shall apply to all the state cricket body”.
Here’s where Rai wants all concerned to refer to the COA advisory dated September 24, which he says was sent out in consultation with the amicus, after the SC heard the COA and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association counsel, as well as the Amicus the same day.
“The Supreme Court heard our legal counsel, the TNCA counsel and the amicus on Tuesday. Based on that hearing, COA sent out the advisory. It says: It is the respectful understanding of the COA that the said direction relaxes the disqualification in Rule 6(5) (f) and Rule 14 (3)(f) of the BCCI Constitution and the pari materia provisions in the constitutions of the member State Associations. All other disqualifications remain in full force viz. those contained in Rule 6(5) (a) to (e) and (g) and Rule 14 (3)(a) to (e) and (g).”
Post the September 20 order, the members are of the line of thought that any individual who is not an office bearer will be eligible to attend the BCCI AGM, subject to being nominated by their respective associations – and that should potentially include N Srinivasan from the TNCA or Sharad Pawar from Mumbai.
“No. They cannot attend. That is why I am saying the August 9, 2018 order is the final one that prevails and going by that order, disqualification rules are very clear under Rule 6(5) and Rule 14(3),” says Rai.
Where the apex council is concerned, Rai again says there is no confusion. “It is very clear – the Board will have not more than nine members in the apex council and the state associations cannot have more than 19 members. Some state associations had included numbers in excess of 20 and that’s why there was confusion. That has been looked into”.