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Will Vinod Rai retire for the third time, adhering to Lodha committee’s age cap?

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The SC-appointed Lodha panel had recommended that office-bearers in the BCCI should not stay on be beyond the age of 70. Will the CoA chief stick to it?

New Delhi: Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai will turn 70 in May this year. But the question is — will he retire from his position of chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)?

After all, the Lodha Committee on administrative reforms, the non-implementation of whose recommendations led to the appointment of the CoA, said that BCCI office-bearers should not stick around in their chairs beyond the age of 70. Will the same rule apply to the CoA as well?

If he does step away, this will be Rai’s third retirement – he already retired as an IAS officer in 2008, and then as the CAG in 2013.

Two-member CoA

On 30 January last year, the Supreme Court had appointed the four-member CoA to implement the Lodha Committee reforms. Besides Rai, the SC appointed legendary cricketer Diana Edulji, noted historian Ramachandra Guha and IDFC Ltd MD and CEO Vikram Limaye to the committee.

However, Guha resigned in June 2017, citing the conflicts of interest of various senior former cricketers and the “superstar culture” that afflicts the BCCI. He also alleged that the CoA had not done enough to implement the Lodha Committee reforms.

Then, in July, Limaye also quit the  to take over as MD and CEO of the National Stock Exchange.

If Rai does retire, that’ll leave just Edulji to oversee the BCCI, unless the SC appoints other members.

On 8 March this year, Rai and Edulji filed their eighth status report in the Supreme Court, where they recommended the election of a fresh set of BCCI office-bearers. The CoA also recommended the removal of Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla, arguing that he had also outlived his tenure.

Age limit controversy

The age cap has been one of the most controversial reforms, given the BCCI and its affiliates’ staunch opposition to its implementation.

Former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah was one of the loudest voices in this regard, telling PTI in June 2017: “If the Indian President can be well over 70 years of age, why can’t the BCCI administrators work beyond that age limit?”

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