New Delhi - India's top court slammed the country's powerful
cricket board on Wednesday for failing to comply with stipulated reforms
following corruption scandals, saying its officials were "behaving like lords".
The Supreme Court instructed the Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI) to "fall in line" with a retired judge's
proposals for sweeping changes to the cash-rich organisation's structure and
way of working.
Former chief justice Rajendra Mal Lodha and his panel told
the court that the BCCI's heads should be replaced as they were dragging their
heels on the reforms, adding that a string of emails to officials had gone
The BCCI, one of the most powerful organisations in world
sport, has insisted it is not "running away" from implementing the
reforms after scandals including accusations of corruption and match-fixing in
the glitzy Indian Premier League.
The court in New Delhi ordered the BCCI to comply with the
recommendations, adding that the organisation was not above the law, the Press
Trust of India news agency said.
"If the BCCI thinks that they are a law unto
themselves, then they are wrong. They have to comply with the directions of the
court," the bench of judges headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
"You (BCCI) are behaving like lords. Fall in line
otherwise we will make you fall in line."
The Lodha panel, appointed by the Supreme Court, proposed
changes to the BCCI in January to be introduced within six months.
The reforms, most of which the court accepted, include new
operating and governance rules that bar ministers and bureaucrats from holding
BCCI posts, along with age and tenure restrictions for top officials.
The Lodha panel was frustrated by the BCCI's decision to go
ahead with making new appointments at its annual general meeting this month.
The panel had warned against the move because the reforms had not yet been
introduced, the court heard.
The panel last year announced two teams were being suspended
from the IPL after top officials were caught illegally betting on matches
involving their own teams in the Twenty20 competition.