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The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed former justice DK Jain as the ombudsman who will look into disputes between state cricket associations in the Board of Control for Cricket in India and will also look into the controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul.

DK Jain, who was the former chairman of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, will also look into allegations of misconduct against BCCI officials. Justice Jain will resume charge as soon as possible.

A bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and A M Sapre said: "We are happy that by consent of the parties and the suggestions, the name of retired Justice D K Jain has been agreed to be appointed as the ombudsman in the BCCI.

"We accordingly appoint Justice (retired) D K Jain as the first ombudsman in the BCCI."

In the last hearing on January 17, the apex court had appointed PS Narasimha as the new Amicus curiae before adjourning it for February 21.

There were differences of opinions in the last hearing over the appointment of the ombudsman. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the BCCI, said that an ombudsman cannot be foisted on. He said the BCCI is a private and elected body.

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) on the other hand, said it had no objection to the appointment of an ombudsman provided he was appointed by the Indian cricket board.

MCA lawyer told the court that they have not received funds from the BCCI and are facing serious problems. In reply, the CoA lawyer pointed out that state units not complying to the Lodha reforms will not receive money from the board.

The said lawyer from MCA also told the court that the CoA can't continue and the BCCI should be allowed to be constituted by election.

Meanwhile, the CoA lawyer pointed out that an ombudsman is necessary and cited the delay in the handling of the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul case. CoA lawyer also insisted that the two players can't return to playing cricket until the ombudsman decides their plea.

Notably, both the cricketers were suspended pending an inquiry following their controversial comments on Koffee with Karan.

COA also submitted its status report before the Supreme Court. They also pointed out that once the draft constitution had been approved by the court, no amendments could be made by state associations.

Not a single state association has yet fully complied with the RM Lodha recommendations which were approved by the Supreme Court in 2016.
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Todays Epaper

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