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BCCI case: Supreme Court appoints PS Narasimha as mediator

Justices SA Bobde and AM Sapre appointed the amicus curiae senior advocate PS Narasimha as the mediator and referred all disputes pertaining to release of funds and membership existing between state boards and BCCI to him.

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dna Correspondent

Updated: Mar 15, 2019, 05:55 AM IST

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The Supreme Court, which was instrumental in appointing an ombudsman for the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) last month, devised mediation as a novel way of solving minor disputes between the Board and state cricket associations.

Enforcing this rule from Thursday, a bench of Justices SA Bobde and AM Sapre appointed the amicus curiae senior advocate PS Narasimha as the mediator and referred all disputes pertaining to release of funds and membership existing between state boards and BCCI to him. Interestingly, the proposal for mediation was mooted by Justice Bobde, who happens to be the judge who mooted similar proposal in the Ayodhya title suit case while sitting in a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

While monitoring reforms in the BCCI, the Court realised that several applications had accumulated before it and the matters were becoming difficult to handle. In order to dispose the pending matters which involved petty issues, the Court proposed sending the matters to ombudsman. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for a cricket body in Gujarat claimed that the same could be handled by the amicus. If not, the parties were always free to approach the ombudsman.

The Court asked Narasimha's willingness. He accepted but at the same time indicated that matters which involve modification of Constitution cannot be decided by him. The Court agreed. When it came to fixing remuneration, Sibal proposed a fixed fee for the mediator. But Narasimha was not keen. Thebench said, "These days people don't trust anyone who does not take money."

As a first case, the Court asked Narasimha to urgently look into a plea by the Maharashtra Cricket Association which stated that the Pune cricket stadium had been attached over dues outstanding to banks. The Association was starved of funds from the Committee of Administrators who are yet to release the money. The bench asked the mediator to address the concern.

Former BCCI President Anurag Thakur also sought Court's intervention to allow him participate in BCCI's functioning. He stood disqualified after the Supreme Court found him guilty of perjury and banned him from being involved with BCCI in any manner. The Court said "Now the matter is over, why do you seek to revive it," as it refused to pass any order.

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