Fri, 29 May 2020

Ramachandra Guha and Vikram Limaye, former members of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), have declined to receive payments for their services, as approved by the highest court on Tuesday. Guha even went as far as saying his "conscience" would never allow him to accept the money.

The CoA was formed in January 2017 to oversee administrative reforms in the BCCI as per the recommendations of the Lodha committee. Guha, an eminent historian, and Limaye, currently managing director and chief executive officer of National Stock Exchange, were part of a four-person panel also consisting of Vinod Rai (former Comptroller & Auditor General of India) and former India woman's captain Diana Edulji.

ALSO READ: 'Didn't expect such a long stint but happy with results' - Edulji

On Tuesday, the court accepted the CoA's request to be discharged after it was understood that former India captain Sourav Ganguly would take charge as president of the new administration.

However the BCCI recommended each CoA member would get INR 10 lakh per month (14,100 USD approx) in 2017, INR 11 lakh per month (15,500 USD) in 2018 and INR 12 lakh per month (16,900 USD) in 2019, which was approved by the court. As per the compensation, which meant both Rai and Edulji will now get INR 3.7 crore (521,000 USD) each. The court also instructed the BCCI to release payments within two days of CoA demitting office.

Accordingly, Guha stood to earn INR 40 lakh (56,400 USD) for his four-month tenure while Limaye was to take home INR 70 lakh (98,600 USD) for his seven-month term that ended in July 2017. However, both Guha and Limaye had made it clear as early as the first CoA meeting that they would not take any money for their services.

"I had mentioned in the first meeting of CoA when it was formed that I would not be taking any compensation," Limaye told ESPNcricinfo.

Guha, though, was astonished to receive an email on Tuesday from BCCI's chief financial officer Santosh Rangnekar. "I must say I was surprised and even shocked by its contents," Guha said in his e-mail, accessed by ESPNcricinfo. "I absolutely refuse to accept this payment I have not asked for. My conscience cannot permit it."

It is understood that Edulji had mentioned during that first meeting that she would want to be paid. Therefore, Rai suggested that they be paid INR 1 lakh (1400 USD) per sitting subject to the court approval. As per the compensation package, both Rai and Edulji will now get INR 3.7 crore (521,000 USD) each.

Throughout its tenure, the CoA was mired with controversies. Four months into the job, in June 2017, Guha resigned citing "my thoughts and views are adjacent to, and sometimes at odds with, the direction the committee is taking as a whole."

In his resignation letter Guha was forthright, pointing out the pervasive conflict of interest culture in Indian cricket, the superstar culture afforded to players while ignoring the domestic cricketers who don't participate in the IPL.

A month later, in July, Limaye, too, stepped down from the CoA, as he was taking over the new role at NSE. The CoA functioned as a two-person panel until the court appointed Ravi Thodge, a retired lieutenant general of the Indian Army, as the third member this February. As per the compensation package, Thodge would earn INR 1.08 crores (152,000 USD).

All INR-USD conversions are approximate and based on values on October 23, 2019

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