By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, Nov 19 | Almost 200 Interlocutory Applications (IAs) from across the state cricket bodies/entities in India could be affected and be sent back to High Courts (HC) if the Supreme Court (SC) decides to vacate its March 2019 order when it hears the BCCI matter on December 1. The March 14, 2019, order has prevented the High Courts and Tribunals across the country from hearing matters relating to the BCCI or its affiliates.
The BCCI matter pertains to the recommendations of the Justice Lodha Committee for cricket reforms.
“Once they will vacate the stay, which prevented HCs and Tribunals from entertaining the matters, they will ask all the parties to go back to HC because these IAs were being filed in SC as there was a stay in the SC. It will have huge ramifications,” said a source in the know of things. He said close to 200 IAs could be sent back to High Courts.
On Thursday, SC stayed proceedings relating to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) pending before the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and listed the main matter pertaining to the BCCI, along with the appeal filed by the District Cricket Forum of Kulgam, for December 1.
The Kulgam body had challenged HC’s right to listen to the JKCA case on constitution in view of the SC order.
Post SC order of March 2019, the JKCA had submitted its constitution to the CoA. But a couple of district cricket entities in J&K challenged it before the High Court, saying that the constitution of the association is not in tandem with the Lodha committee recommendations. That writ petition was dismissed.
Thereafter, an appeal was filed but the HC said that because of the stay of the SC they cannot proceed. However, when the division bench changed in the High Court, they started hearing the matter. The Kulgam body and JKCA approached the HC saying that in view of the SC stay, the court cannot proceed with the matter. But the court kept hearing the matter.
The Kulgam body then went to SC seeking a clarification and asked if, in view of the stay granted by SC, the HC could proceed with the matter.
“Justice L Nageshwar Rao on Thursday said that they would not pass any order in Kulgam’s Special Leave Petition but will list the main matter. However, till the main matter is decided, they will stay the proceedings before HC,” added the source.
“The SC will consider if the stay granted by the SC on March 14, 2019, will be vacated or not. If the stay is vacated, then the HC can hear the matter. Justice Rao is of the opinion that these issues should go to the High Courts. Why should the SC look into the matter since the constitution has come into existence, elections have been held, state bodies are working, the BCCI is working,” added the source.
The SC had granted the stay in view of Committee of Administrators being a temporary arrangement, so that multiple litigations could be stopped. Now the situation has changed.
Though the Lodha committee had recommended that the state bodies cannot change the constitutions, there remain a few state bodies that are still non-compliant and their constitutions have still not been approved.