25 years old Hardik Pandya is an Indian International Cricketer (All Rounder) who plays for Baroda in domestic cricket and playing in Indian Premiere League since 2015. Recently he appeared in the Indian Talk show “Koffee with Karan” with KL Rahul who is a top – order batsman.
Both the cricketers shared sexist comments, racist views and derogatory statements about woman while sharing funny incidents about their lives.
The format of the show is interview based where celebrities share about their personal life incidents which are usually discreet. This talk show is always been popular because of the revelations celebrities make while in the conversation with the Host Karan Johar who is a reputed film director in the Indian Film Industry.
After the show broadcasted on Television on January 6, 2019 the cricketers received massive backlash on the comments they made in the talk show. With effect to this cricketer Hardik Pandya apologized on social media.
On 9th January 2018 BCCI’s Committee of Administration issued show cause notices to both the cricketers to provide an explanation within 24 hours about the same.
Vinod Rai – CoA Chief declared that he is not satisfied with the explanation given by cricketers and rest of the action will be given after the discussion with BBCI CEO Rahul Johri and CoA member Diana Edulji.
Anirudh Chaudhary – BCCI Treasurer questioned about the basis of contracts with cricketers or if they have granted permission to appear in any such talk show.
In a meanwhile BCCI legal team stated that there is no provision in the code of conduct which can cover such kind of behaviour of cricketers. So, according to the same there is no violation of code of conduct.
Right before few hours before India-Australia ODI BCCI announced the suspension of these two cricketers till the further notice. Both the cricketers sent back to India for inquiry under Rule 41 of BCCI Constitution.
LAWS RELATED TO THE SCENARIO
BCCI Code of Conduct
Introduction – The BCCI is responsible for the governance of the sport of cricket in India and the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel (the ‘Code of Conduct’) is adopted and implemented as part of the BCCI’s continuing efforts to maintain the public image, popularity and integrity of cricket by providing: (a) an effective means to deter any participant from conducting themselves improperly on and off the ‘fieldof-play’ or in a manner that is contrary to the ‘spirit of cricket’; and (b)a robust disciplinary procedure pursuant to which all matters of improper conduct can be dealt with fairly, with certainty and in an expeditious manner.
10.5 The Code of Conduct is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with Indian law. Strictly without prejudice to the arbitration provisions of Articles 5 and 8 of the Code of Conduct, disputes relating to the Code of Conduct shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian courts
17 CONDUCT OF PLAYERS –
The Apex Council shall have the power to enquire into the conduct of any Player within its jurisdiction and may take such disciplinary action against Player as the Apex Council may deem fit, which decision shall be final.
18 ENQUIRY INTO CONDUCT OF PLAYERS, MATCH OFFICIALS, ADMINISTRATORS ETC
In the Event of the BCCI enquiring into the conduct of Players , Match Official, Administrator etc, the BCCI shall proceeded in the manner prescribes in Rule 41.
41 GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL
- The types of disputes/ differences that form the ombudsman’s ambit and the procedure for redressal are:-
- c) Misconduct or Breach by others
In the event of any complaint being received from any quarter or based on any report published or circulated or on its own motion, of any act of indiscipline or misconduct or violation of any of the Rules and regulations by any Player, Umpire, Team Official, Selector or any person associated with the BCCI, the Apex Council shall refer the same within 48 hours to the CEO to make a preliminary enquiry.
Procedure – The CEO shall forthwith make a preliminary inquiry and call for explanations from the concerned person(s) and submit his report to the Apex Council not later than 15 days from the date of refrence being made by the Apex Council. On receipt of the report, the Apex Council shall forward the same to the Ombudsman, who shall call for all particulars and unless it decides that there is no prima facie case and accordingly drops the change, hearing shall commence on the case and the same shall be completed as expeditiously as possible by providing a reasonable opportunity to the parties of being heard. If despite due notice, any party fails to submit any cause or submits insufficient cause, the Ombudsman shall after providing reasonable opportunity of hearing to the parties concerned, pass appropriate order. In the event any party refuses and or fails to appear despite notice, the Ombudsman shall be at liberty to proceed ex-parte on the basis of the available records and evidence.
- The place of hearing shall be decided by the Ombudsman from time to time. The Ombudsman shall have the power to impose penalties as provided in the Regulations for Players, Team Officials, Administrators, Managers and Match officials of the BCCI.
- The decision of the Ombudsman shall be fined and binding and shall come into force forthwith on being pronounced and delivered.
- Any administrator, Player, Match official, Team Official, Selector or other individual associated with the BCCI or being found guilty and expelled by the BCCI shall forfeit all their rights and privileges. He or She shall not in further be entitled to hold any position or office or be admitted in any committee or any role on the BCCI.
- A Member or Franchise once expelled, may, on application made after expiry of three years since expulsion be readmitted by the BCCI, provided the same is accepted at a General Body Meeting by 3/4th members present and voting.
- Pending Inquiry and proceeding into complaints or charges of misconduct or any act of indiscipline or violation of any Rules and Regulations, the concerned member, Administration, Player, Match Official, Team Official or other individual associated with the BCCI (along with their respective privileges and benefits) may be suspended by the Apex Council until final adjudication. However, the said adjudication ought to be completed within six months, failing which the suspension shall cease.
- January 2018, Hyderabad captain Ambati Rayudu was handed a two-match suspension by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for breaching the board’s Code of Conduct during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match between Hyderabad and Karnataka on January 11. Rayudu was banned from participating in the first two matches for Hyderabad in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy. The charges were leveled by the umpires after the score allotment of the first match, Rayudu took up the issue with the umpires at the end of the game delaying the second match scheduled.
- In December 2018, The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), handed over an eight-week suspension to three UAE cricketers. Rohan Mustafa, Ahmed Raza and Rameez Shahzad violated the ‘Player’s Code of Conduct’ and requirements for the use of social media. All of these three cricketers criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Twitter for poor facilities in Karachi Stadium.
Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) completed a disciplinary investigation related to the violation of its Player’s Code of Conduct, and use of Social Media and each of the players have been suspended from International Cricket for a period of 8 weeks, fined and warned about their future conduct.
- In November 2018, The USA’s Jan Nisar Khan had received a two-match suspension and four demerit points for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during its ICC World Cricket League Division 3 match against Singapore. Khan was found to have violated Article 2.8 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during an international match”.
- November 2018, West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel suspended for the second Test of the two-match series against Bangladesh for breaching International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct during the opening day’s play of the first match in Chittagong. He was found guilty of breaching Article 2.12 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “inappropriate physical contact with a player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee or any other person (including a spectator) during an international match”.
From the cases occurred in the recent past the nexus of the incident and conduct was related to the sport, sports personnel or sporting bodies. Defamation of a national cricket board, arguments and dissent with umpire and misconduct during are the incidents which occur in order to the breach of the code of the cricketing board.
However, in the present scenario of the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, the incident is not primarily in the violation of the code of conduct of BCCI. But if read the introduction of the Code its preamble suggests that ….
The BCCI is responsible for the governance of the sport of cricket in India and the Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel (the ‘Code of Conduct’) is adopted and implemented as part of the BCCI’s continuing efforts to maintain the public image, popularity and integrity of cricket by providing: (a) an effective means to deter any participant from conducting themselves improperly on and off the ‘fieldof-play’ or in a manner that is contrary to the ‘spirit of cricket’; and (b)a robust disciplinary procedure pursuant to which all matters of improper conduct can be dealt with fairly, with certainty and in an expeditious manner.
The words “on and off the – ‘field of play’ – or in an manner contrary to the ‘spirit of cricket'” somehow mentions the intention of the code and rational behind the origin of the code. There is no certain situation is mentioned about the misconduct of player during public appearance which is not directly related or not in the nexus of the sport.
However, The present situation doesn’t come under the Level 1-4 offences of the code of conduct but the code is not exhaustive and open to interpretation with the below mentioned clause after every level offense in the code.
Where the facts of the alleged incident are not adequately or clearly covered by any of the above offences, conduct that either: (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute.
The code of conduct is somehow parallel to the recommendations of Lodha committee and the constitution of BCCI. The case of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul is now dependent on the procedure followed by the disciplinary committee according to the Rule 41 of Constitution of BCCI which covers the possibility of this kind of misconduct under Rule 17. Perhaps under which provision BCCI continue the enquiry and further procedure in the near future is a burning question of the hour.
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