Lodha backs Vinod Rai to stay the course



Vinod Rai is set to turn 70 in May this year © Getty

Vinod Rai, the chairman of Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) will turn 70 on May 23, which the old guard in BCCI feels will give them fresh ammunition to fire. The board office-bearers are of the view that since they are not allowed to hold office beyond the age of 70 as per the Justice Lodha committee’s recommendations, the same yardstick should be applicable to Rai.

The old guard is mulling to raise the issue in the Supreme Court to ensure Rai’s exit. It is also learnt that the officials might use it as a pretext to continue in state associations. However, Lodha, the architect of the reforms, is not convinced with this logic.

Speaking to TOI, Lodha stated that Rai should continue as the head of CoA and ensure that the reforms are implemented. “The reforms were supposed to have been implemented by September last year and CoA was picked by the Honorable Supreme Court for this reason. But since that hasn’t happened, Vinod Rai should stay at the helm of affairs. This is the order of the highest court of the land. I don’t think it would be appropriate to make him leave,” Lodha said on Wednesday. “When the apex court appointed Rai as the head of CoA, he wasn’t above 70. He was given a mandate to implement the reforms. Till the time the reforms aren’t implemented, Rai should continue in his post,” Lodha explained.

Lodha also rapped the BCCI office-bearers – acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary – for not having done enough to implement the reforms when they had given an undertaking in the court to ensure the same.

“Implementing the reforms isn’t the responsibility only of CoA. Even the office-bearers should play their roles to implement the reforms, which is again as per the apex court’s order. The fact that the office-bearers haven’t done much has delayed the implementation process,” Lodha said. Sources said Rai is a “part time appointee” with a specific mandate, which can go beyond age. Age norm in BCCI is for those seeking elections, they said.

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