Jay Shah Sourav
Jay Shah (left) & Sourav Ganguly will get another term in the office after Supreme Court relaxed the cooling off period clause. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

New Delhi: Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah will be extending their terms after top court allowed to make amendments to its constitution to relax the cooling off period requirement between two consecutive terms.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) plea in connection with the amendments proposed to its constitution.

The cooling-off period for office-bearers will kick in after two consecutive terms at either the BCCI or at the state association level. The office-bearers can now have a maximum of 12 years at one go: two three-year terms at the state association level and two three-year terms at the BCCI, and after this, the cooling-off will be applicable.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the BCCI, submitted before a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli that clause 6 as approved by the top court indicates that a person who has competed one term at the state cricket association level followed by one term at the BCCI would have to undergo a three-year cooling off period.

Very short time

Therefore, the cooling off period would come into effect after only one term at the BCCI. During the hearing, Mehta had submitted before the bench that three years is a very short time period to prove leadership qualities to take the sport forward, and urged this provision, in the existing constitution, be modified to reflect that it comes into effect after an office-bearer has completed two consecutive terms.

The top court noted submissions from senior advocate Maninder Singh, amicus curiae in the matter, that there was no justification in confining the cooling-off period to the President and Secretary, and it should extend to all office-bearers at the BCCI.

Tenure of office-bearers

Accepting the proposed amendments to the constitution by the BCCI, the top court noted that it is of the view that this would not dilute the spirit and object of the cooling-off period, if implemented after an individual has completed two terms at either BCCI or state association level.

The BCCI sought to amend its constitution concerning the tenure of its office-bearers including its president Ganguly and secretary Shah by doing away with the mandatory cooling-off period between tenures of office-bearers across state cricket associations and the BCCI.

The top court had accepted reforms in the BCCI recommended by the Justice R.M. Lodha-led committee.