Supreme Court to appoint a committee to oversee the functioning of the HCA

The Supreme Court has decided to appoint a committee to oversee the functioning of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. With this objective in mind the court has sought the names of former players and also judges who can be in the committee and ensure smooth functioning of the cricket body. The aim should be to focus on players and not indulge in politics as is the case now. The teams will win if this is done, observed the court.

“If the committee focuses on players, the teams will win and if you engage in politics then the teams will not. Now, the court has started interfering so you are focussing on the game,” said the bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana to the HCA.

“Give us the names of some people who are familiar with the game. Give us names of players and others who have nothing to do with politics. We will appoint the committee,” stated the bench, which also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli.

Senior advocate Rakesh Khanna, appearing for one of the parties, said that the staffers of the HCA are not getting salary as the cheques are not being signed as directed by the top court in its last order on October 27.
It may be recalled that on October 27th of this year, the Supreme Court had instructed the HCA president Mohammed Azharuddin and the Secretary R. Vijayanand to “jointly” sign cheques to ensure that the day-to-day functioning of HCA is not disrupted.

Meanwhile, electricity supply to the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Uppal has been cut off by the electricity board due to non-payment of pending bills.

The top court had passed a consent order to ensure smooth functioning of the HCA and had stated: “Till these matters are finally heard by this Court, and with the consent of the parties, we deem it appropriate to direct both the President and the Secretary of the Hyderabad Cricket Association to jointly sign the cheques so that the day-to-day functioning of the Association is not hampered.”

Earlier, the Supreme Court had expressed strong displeasure over the functioning of faction-ridden HCA and the row on the issue of appointment of the ombudsman and had said that it will order an inquiry into the whole issue by a former apex court or high court judge. “Cricket has disappeared and politics has taken precedence,” the bench had said. “We will appoint some good people, some retired judges of the Supreme Court or the High Court to conduct an inquiry. Let both the groups (of HCA) go. They will have to go out of the management. This needs a CBI inquiry. They want to drag even the judiciary.”

The SC had directed ombudsman Justice Deepak Verma not to pass any order since his tenure has already come to an end. The HCA has been divided over the appointment of Justice Verma. The long legal battles had resulted in tarnishing the reputation of the HCA.

Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects