Right to Information
CIC asks BCCI, 29 other cricket associations to appear before it on 25th July

A full bench comprising central information commissioners will conduct a hearing on the issue of BCCI and 29 other cricket associations coming under the RTI, based on a complaint filed by an RTI activist

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) continues to hold on to a court judgment, which has salvaged it from coming under the transparency law. However, a tenacious activist’s fight has resulted in a full bench of Central Information Commission (CIC) directing BCCI, Cricket Control of India (CCI) and 28 other cricket associations in the country to submit ‘written representation’ of various government funding they receive. These associations are also asked to be present before the full bench of the CIC for a hearing on the evening of 25th and 26 July 2013.

 

In a notice sent to BCCI, CCI and 28 other cricket bodies the CIC has “directed to attend the hearing either personally or through an authorised representative at the appointed date and time (4pm on 25th and 26 July) and to send written representation before the Commission on various facilities these cricket bodies enjoy from the central and state governments.”

 

This is a sequel to the complaint sent by Right to Information (RTI) activist and senior citizen Madhu Agrawal, after she failed to get information from the respective cricket bodies. She had sought “complete and detailed information together with relevant documents/ file notings/ correspondence on the use  of land, stadiums, tax exemption and security expenses paid for by the government for matches played by cricket bodies.’’ Her RTI petition dated 6 June 2013, came up for quick hearing as she is a senior citizen.

 

As per the RTI Act, any private organization which has ‘substantial’ funding from the government is public authority under RTI. However, BCCI relied on a Supreme Court judgment of Justice Santosh Hegde, which cleared it from being a public body. However, Justice Hegde in a recent interview to a national daily admitted that BCCI has been taking undue advantage of this judgment and that it should come under RTI. That is when Agrawal filed her petition.

 

The BCCI, CCI and 28 other cricket associations across India have been directed by the CIC, to send their written representation before the commission containing the following information:

1. Land and buildings including the stadiums allotted by the state government concerned (size in acres/square metres)

2. Annual rent being paid by State Cricket Association

3. Copies of lease deeds

4. Estimated market rentals

5. Income tax exemption, if any, for the last five years, that is between 2007 and 2012

6. Customs duty exemption if any, for the last five years,  that is, between 2007 and 2012

7. Entertainment tax exemption, if any, for the last five years, that is, between 2007 and 2012

8. Security expenses incurred by state governments for organising cricket matches for the last five years that is between 2007 and 2012

9. Any other information

 

States petitioner Madhu Agrawal, “It refers to Justice Santosh Hegde clearing the air on his Supreme Court judgment in the matter of Zee Telefilms whereby the now-retired judge has cleared that BCCI has been misinterpreting and misusing his judgment for claiming itself from outside purview of RTI Act. He has rightly analysed that the way BCCI is misusing his judgment, then ‘reservation’ will also have to be applied in cricket-affairs! He has rightly interpreted that organizations like BCCI are contributed by millions through watching (cricket matches); therefore everyone has a right to ask for transparency and accountability. As such RTI Act must apply to the BCCI especially when there were large-scale malpractices in BCCI which has become a fiefdom for a few people, politicians and bureaucrats.”

 

Agrawal further adds that, “Using word ‘India’ or ‘Indian’ for a cricket-team selected by BCCI itself is enough to bring it under purview of RTI Act. Money minted by BCCI or Indian Premier League (IPL) is national money generated out of public-craze for cricket, and this money should be used for public-welfare schemes rather than distributing like freebies to cricketers for their instant show in selected matches/ tournaments. BCCI and IPL should be taken as autonomous public-sector companies accountable to Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) of India, and answerable under RTI Act. Like private-hospitals cut a large chunk of doctors’ fees for their visits to hospitals, Union Sports Ministry with a control on IPL and BCCI as autonomous public-sector companies, should deduct at least 60% of auction-money from cricketers’ accounts.’’

 

The question is, will this big fat, pampered cat called BCCI bow down to any decision whatsoever. Like political parties, who are in chorus trying to thwart the CIC decision which has declared them as public authorities. The parties though have defied its order of appointing PIOs and Appellate Authorities.

 


List of cricket associations directed to submit details of direct or indirect funding;

1.       Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)

2.       Goa Cricket Association

3.       Kerala Cricket Association

4.       Karnataka State Cricket Association

5.       Tamil Nadu Cricket Association

6.       The Cricket Association of Bengal

7.       Tripura Cricket Association

8.       Jharkhand State Cricket Association

9.       Assam Cricket Association

10.     Orissa Cricket Association

11.     Delhi & District Cricket Association

12.     Services Sports Control Board

13.     Punjab Cricket Association

14.     Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association

15.     Haryana Cricket Association

16.     Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association

17.     Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association

18.     All India Universities

19.     Mumbai Cricket Association

20.     Maharashtra Cricket Association

21.     Baroda Cricket Association

22.     Gujarat Cricket Association

23.     Saurashtra Cricket Association

24.     Cricket Club of India

25.     Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association

26.     Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association

27.     Railways Sports Promotion Board

28.     Vidarbha Cricket Association

29.     National Cricket Club

 

User

COMMENTS

Sethi

4 years ago

An RTI application was sent to the Sports ministry by me to provide copies of correspondence including file notings wherein Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized & authorized BCCI to administratively control the game of cricket in India and also allowing BCCI to represent India in International cricket tournaments and selection of Indian cricket team .
The reply received from the Ministry is breath taking to say the least . They state "that this information is not available . Since no such recognition / authorization has been given to BCCI " .
The question arises how does a private body not recognized by the GOVT represent India in International cricket ? How are various concessions granted to BCCI in terms of security , land etc been given by the govts at the Central & state level ? Today's hearing of BCCI at CIC will be watched with interest . This is how political patronage works . The matter will be followed up .

ramchandran

4 years ago

its high time that accountability is instituted in organizations like BCCI which play with the emotions of lacs of ardent cricket lovers. Kudos to Madhu agarwal

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