New Delhi: Justice R. M Lodha confirmed on Tuesday that his panel had just asked the banks to restrain from disembursing large funds by the cricket board to the state associations.
Justice Lodha’s confirmation comes in the wake of reports which asserted that the accounts of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were frozen. But Justice Lodha confirmed that the BCCI accounts have not been frozen.
Fuming at the defiance of its recommendations, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel had “directed” banks, where BCCI holds accounts, not to disburse “large” funds to the state associations, a decision taken by the Board at its Special General Meeting on September 30.
However, Lodha clarified: “We have not frozen the accounts of BCCI, we have directed the BCCI to not disburse funds to the state association. Day to day affairs, routine expenditure, matches, games, that should go on. There is absolutely no prohibition.”
The BCCI, however, argued that state associations were dependant on the parent body for organising matches and they were unable to carry on their functioning in the wake of the latest directive from the Lodha panel, affecting their preparations for the upcoming games in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
“The members are pained at the treatment meted out to them. They are dependant on BCCI’s funds for organising matches. So far seven associations have communicated their inability to host games in the home season while nine of them have inquired about the matter. If things are the way they are, the series (against New Zealand) could be called off by today evening,” a senior BCCI official said.
“There is too much interference at the moment. People need to realise India has become a cricketing super power under BCCI’s administration. We are the only sports body which has not taken a single penny from anyone including the government. We have created all the infrastructure on our own,” the senior Board functionary added.
The all out war between Lodha panel and BCCI took an uglier turn after the panel, in its letter yesterday, told the banks to block BCCI’s payments to the state bodies.
“It has come to the notice of this Committee that certain decisions have been taken at the ‘Emergent Working Committee’ meeting of the BCCI on 30th September 2016 to disburse large funds to the various member associations,” the panel had written.
“You are also aware that the BCCI has chosen to breach the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court as well as the first set of Timelines set out by this Committee which includes the Fund Disbursement policy to be framed by 30.9.2016.
“As the status report is to be taken up for directions by the Hon’ble Court on Thursday, 6.10.2016, you are hereby directed not to take any steps towards financial disbursement of the amounts as resolved/approved after the direction dated 31.8.2016. Any violation of this direction will be placed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court for appropriate directions,” it added.