Delay in approving central contracts prime reason behind latest move
New Delhi: The ugly battle between the two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the three principal BCCI office bearers got murkier with the Vinod Rai-led panel deciding to take away all functioning powers of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary and treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry.
Having already sought their removal in the seventh Status Report filed in Supreme Court last week, the CoA has gone a step further by issuing the diktat to stop the office-bearers from taking any decision unilaterally.
It also stopped Board officials from using the BCCI funds to meet legal expenses in connection to the Lodha Panel related cases. The officials now can not plan their travel and accommodation for various meetings without CoA’s permission.
It has been learnt that sitting on central contracts of the Indian players irked CoA chief Vinod Rai as insurance policies of the Indian players was about to lapse.
The matter became worse after secretary Amitabh questioned the manner in which CoA made certain appointments including that of a former Page 3 journalist and currently associated with a film production company as GM (Marketing) for a whopping salary of Rs 1.65 crore per annum.
The 12-point diktat effectively takes away all the powers from executive functionaries.
“The CoA is ready to throw the principles of governance out of window. They want to take away the rights of the office bearers,” a BCCI office bearer told PTI.
When told that CoA is peeved that they sat on players’ contracts and certain appointments, he retorted: “Were we even kept in the loop when the contracts were being chalked out? You want people to sign it blindly when they don’t even know the terms of reference used for certain appointments. Where in Lodha Panel’s report was recommendation for GM (marketing)? Are we serious that we need to market Indian cricket?”
In its diktat, the CoA has instructed: “Any employee/ retainer/ consultant of BCCI who receives a communication from any office bearer and finds that the same is not copied to the CEO and/or the Committee of Administrators, shall immediately forward the same to the CEO and/or the Committee of Administrators, as the case may be.”
A BCCI official said it has been done to stop acting president Khanna from finding Venkatesh Prasad’s replacement in the junior national selection committee on his own despite existing constitution allowing it.
Another instruction reads: The office bearers and/or their respective Executive Assistants shall not undertake any travel including but not limited to hotel accommodations at BCCI expense without the prior approval of the Committee of Administrators.
It has come in the wake of allegations that acting secretary Amitabh is travelling 25 days a month, staying at five-star facilities and availing premium air tickets at the expense of the Board. Treasurer Aniruddh is already sidelined and doesn’t attend most of the meetings.
The CoA has directed that, “the acting Secretary shall continue to sign all contracts/ appointment letters on behalf of BCCI. However, if a contract/ appointment letter that has been approved by the CoA is not signed by the Acting Secretary within reasonable time not exceeding 5 working days, the CoA may direct the CEO to sign such contract/ appointment letter. Once a contract/ appointment letter has been signed by the CEO as per the directions of the Committee of Administrators, the same shall be binding on BCCI.”
A BCCI official claimed that it has been done since acting secretary Amitabh has refused to sign the Central Contract of Indian players and appointment of GM (Marketing) and the new ACU Chief.
The CoA has also said that, “all information, correspondence, communications and discussions involving the Committee of Administrators and any employee/ consultant/ retainer/ service provider shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person without the express written consent of the Committee of Administrators.”