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Did BCCI Get The Sports Bill Rejected To Prevent Itself From Coming Under The Purview Of RTI Act ?

31 August 2011 No Comment

It seems that BCCI was instrumental in getting the Sports bill rejected in the cabinet on tuesday, the sports bill would have brought the BCCI( Board of Cricket Control in India) under the purview of RTI Act. There have been instances where even other autonomous  sports bodies which under the pretext of being a private body dont fall under RTI Act.


If we look at how the BCCI is defined its shocking  : ” The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headquartered at Mumbai, is the national governing body for all cricket in India. It’s not the apex governing body in India. The board was formed in December 1928 as BCCI replaced Calcutta Cricket Club. BCCI is a society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. It often uses government-owned stadiums across the country at a nominal annual rent. It is a “private club consortium”. Basically to become a member of a state-level association, one needs to be introduced by another member and also pay an annual fee. The state-level clubs select their representatives (secretaries) who in turn select the BCCI officials. BCCI is not required to make their balance sheets public. In the past, tax exemptions were granted to BCCI on the grounds as promoting cricket was a charitable activity but for the last three years the IPL has questioned this.

As a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), it has the authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international events and exercises total control over them. Without its recognition, no competitive cricket involving BCCI-contracted Indian players can be hosted within or outside the country.”

The rejection of the Sports bill means that BCCI will not fall under the Right to Information Act, Noted RTI Activist Subhash Agarwal had filed complaints to the CIC (Central Information Commissioner) regarding the functioning of BCCI.

Sharad Pawar and Farookh Abdullah were the most prominent critics of the bill and it was rejected for ammendments in it, the sports bill was Ajay Makens project which would have paved a way for finalizing age limits of Board members of autonomous  sports bodies and the number of times they could hold the post ( a maximum of 2 tenures) but this did’nt go well with Sharad Pawar specially, BCCI is known to be the richest Cricket Board in the world today and still it is a non government body, the cricketers play for this country but the guidelines are set by a private body !!! do the cricketers represent India as a Country or BCCI as a private LTD.Company ? these are to be thought by every sports and cricket lover in this country.

Why sports bodies dont want to come under the Right to Information Act ? There are dark secrets which will be revealed if the BCCI and other autonomous  sports bodies come under its purview. It is already known that BCCI was issued a notice by the ED(Enforcement Directorate) under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1990 (FEMA) for keeping in dark about financial guarantees of around $13.4 million (Rs 62 crore) it gave to international cricketers to ensure their participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL), this figure later cropped up to be approx Rs.88.48 crores.

If we look at the reasons given by BCCI before the CIC it gives a explanation that BCCI  being a private, charitable, autonomous and non-statutory body it does qualify to be a ‘public authority’ as defined under section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act (RTI) and hence is not duty bound to disclose any information to any member of the public.

Another reason given is that BCCI is not recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, (MYAS) Government of India as the NSF governing the game of cricket in India and hence cannot be equated with other NSF’s who have sought such recognition, BCCI can only fall under the RTI Act as a sports body if its  funded, directly or indirectly, by the state which is not the case as regards BCCI as it does not take any financial assistance from the Government of India.  so it is understood that BCCI wants to work monopoly with complete freedom without any accountability.

Transparency and accountability are two things which our Political leaders fear of , most of the sports bodies have a political angle to it and because of that they did not want their grip to be loosened by the clauses of the sports bill, which would have actually made them unfit for staying as the heads of these autonomous  sports bodies.

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