The Supreme Court of India on Thursday appointed retired Justice DK Jain as the ombudsman for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Justice Jain, a former Supreme Court judge, is expected to take his charge "as soon as possible", according to ANI. The move is a step forward towards clearing the many issues that the BCCI finds itself involved in, including the final decision on the Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul controversy.
Supreme Court appoints former SC judge Justice (Retired) D K Jain as an ombudsman of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), after it was apprised that all the parties have accepted his name. SC says "Justice (r) will take his charge as soon as possible." pic.twitter.com/3YF91P0z8t
— ANI (@ANI) February 21, 2019
A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice SA Bobde, and also comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre said that Jain has been appointed to the position as his name by accepted by "all the parties".
"Justice (R) DK Jain of this court, be appointed as ombudsman for BCCI, as his name was accepted by all the parties,' the bench said.
Justice Jain's appointment came shortly after the apex court commenced the hearing on BCCI's issues on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge was appointed as the third member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the BCCI on Thursday.
Thodge will join Chairman Vinod Rai and former women's captain Diana Edulji in the panel entrusted with the job of running the BCCI by the apex court.
"I am absolutely honoured that I have been given this opportunity by the honourable SC to serve as CoA member," Thodge, who is expected to attend Friday's CoA meeting in New Delhi, told PTI.
The SC additionally warned present Committee of Administrators (CoA) members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji not to make their differences public, according to Cricbuzz.
The apex court, while observing that it was "partially aware" of what was going on in the CoA, said that whosoever is involved in these issues, they should not bring it in public domain.
"We have heard in newspaper reports that some sparring is going on between CoA members. We want to know is it correct?" asked a bench comprising Justices SA Bobde and AM Sapre.
Senior advocate Parag Tripathi, appearing for the CoA, responded, "Not on core issues."
To this, the bench said, "We have thought to tell the amicus curiae to inform them (CoA members) that whosoever is involved, they should not bring it in public domain. It should not come in public domain".
The two-member CoA has been divided on several matters including the recent controversy involving cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.
Pandya and Rahul had attracted widespread criticism for their alleged misogynistic comments on TV Show 'Koffee with Karan'.
Rai had reportedly recommended a two-match ban on Pandya and Rahul, but Edulji had taken the matter to the BCCI legal cell which refused to call the players' actions a violation of the code of conduct and recommended the appointment of an ombudsman.
The CoA chief and Edulji had also reportedly differed on the controversy relating to exclusion of Indian women cricketer Mithali Raj from the playing 11 in the crucial semi-final match of the recently concluded women's world cup.
The apex court also issued notice to the CoA on an application of BJP leader Anurag Thakur, who was removed by the top court from the post of BCCI president in 2017 for obstructing its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body, that he be allowed to contest and get back into the elected body of the BCCI.
"My problem is that I am being barred (from BCCI) and have no remedy for the last two years," senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur, said.
The Supreme Court had earlier deferred the BCCI hearing on 17 January after Gopal Subramanium had stepped down as the Amicus Curiae for five cases, including that of the BCCI. Senior advocate PS Narasimha was subsequently appointed as his replacement.
With inputs from ANI and PTI