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Supreme Court removes Anurag Thakur, Ajay Shirke from top BCCI posts

Delhi. BCCI president  and secretary  have been removed from their posts by the Supreme Court of India in an order passed in Delhi on Monday morning. The court order was a culmination of a long-standing impasse between the BCCI and the Lodha Committee: the board had resisted implementing some of the committee's recommendations despite their being part of the July 18, 2016 order by the Supreme Court.

The court said a committee of administrators will be appointed on January 19 to oversee the business operations of the BCCI. The composition of the committee will be finalised by a pair of amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium and Indian constitutional jurist Fali S Nariman.

According to the court, the most senior BCCI vice-president will take over as interim president while the joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary will be the interim secretary. The court said the replacements will have to give an undertaking that they will adhere to the July 18 court order, which approved the majority of Lodha Committee recommendations.

At the previous hearing on December 15, before breaking for the winter holidays, the court had reversed its order in response to the Lodha Committee's status report, which recommended that all ineligible BCCI office bearers be removed and an observer be appointed to oversee the board's operations.

On Monday, the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, approved the Lodha Committee's view of the BCCI's office bearers. Justice Chandrachud said all office bearers who did not fulfil the recommendations will "demit and cease to hold office".

According to the existing BCCI constitution, the office bearers are the president, secretary, joint-secretary, treasurer and five vice-presidents. While listing out eligibility criteria, the Lodha Committee had stated that an office bearer would be disqualified if he or she was not a citizen of India, was 70 years or older, was a minister or a government servant, held any office or post in any other sports association, or had been an office bearer of the BCCI for a cumulative period of nine years.

"This is the logical consequence. Once the recommendations were accepted by the court, it had to be implemented," former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, the chairman of the Lodha Committee, said after the court order on January 2. "There were obstructions, there were impediments ... obviously this had to happen, and it has happened. The Supreme Court itself has ensured that its order of 18 July is now enforced.

"It's a victory for the game of cricket and it will flourish. Administrators come and go, ultimately it is for the game."

Shirke said he wasn't too concerned by the development. "If I am removed, there is absolutely no issue. I will go back to my work," he told CNN News from the UK. "The enforcement of the order is not in my individual control. The members decide. It is the members' board. They have accepted many recommendations. Now that the Supreme Court has settled the matter, let the new dispensation carry on the good new work."