The three-judge bench, led by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, also appointed senior lawyer Maninder Singh the new amicus curiae in the case.
The BCCI filed a second application in April 2020 where it argued that the mandatory cooling-off period (three years) that an office bearer had to face upon completing two consecutive terms (six years) needed to be reviewed.
Justice Chandrachud had already tweaked the cooling-off period clause (from three years to six) in his 2018 judgement, while retaining the basis of the Lodha Committee recommendation. His judgement allowed an office bearer to serve two consecutive terms (six years) separately at the state association or the board or a combination of both, while retaining the maximum tenure of nine years (broken up by the mandatory cooling-off period after six years).
The BCCI instead wants this specification changed to allow an office bearer to serve six years at one go at one place (either BCCI or state association), instead of the cap also including a combination of roles at the state and BCCI levels.
As things stand, all the five office bearers in the board – including president Ganguly, secretary Shah, Arun Dhumal (treasurer), Jayesh George (joint-secretary) and Rajiv Shukla (vice-president) – have already completed six years in office through a combination of positions at their respective state associations and the BCCI. However, having sought legal advice, the Ganguly administration has continued in position and wants the court to rule on the amendments sought.
The outcome could have significant impact at various levels for the BCCI, including on the board elections scheduled later in the year when Ganguly’s administration will complete its first term of three years.