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Thread: BCCI not covered by RTI law

  1. Courting trouble


    Reported by Hindustantimes.com on April 26, 2012
    Courting trouble - Hindustan Times

    A PIL filed in the Allahabad High Court says the BCCI can’t nominate players for government awards. Here’s why... Not recognised The BCCI isn't a recognised National Sports Federation with the sports ministry. The PIL claims the BCCI is a private autonomous body, and has never applied for being recognised as a NSF.

    A de-facto NSF

    The BCCI uses all privileges and benefits of being the de-facto NSF for cricket. It sends nominations for various government sports awards. As per government rules, only NSFs can make such nominations.

    Flouting rules

    The PIL alleges that the BCCI uses 'India' in its name. This is "prima facie against section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950."

    Averse to RTI

    The BCCI refuses to come under the purview of the RTI Act while most other NSFs are in its purview. "BCCI is enjoying privileges and breaking laws while strongly resisting any accountability towards the government or the people. This makes it look like being above law of the land," the petitioner said.



  2. #42
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    Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law


    An article by Shweta Bharti in governancenow.com on 18 May 2012:
    GovernanceNow.com | Can BCCI dodge your RTI?

    Can BCCI dodge your RTI?

    http://governancenow.com/sites/defau...cture-4636.jpg

    SHWETA BHARTI
    Bharti is a student of corporate law and senior partner at Hammurabi & Solomon


    A look behind the legal jargon tells us why it can’t. So, what’s stopping you!

    The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been avoiding accountability under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Fresh attempts have been made by minister of sports Ajay Maken. Also, the known BCCI baiter plans to request the finance ministry to expedite investigations into ongoing Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) violation cases.

    Irrespective of their politics, here’s what the legal position is.

    The board has been leaning on the supreme court ruling that BCCI was not “state” within the meaning of Article 12 of the constitution. Thus far, courts have dismissed Zee TV’s writ petition (challenging the scrapping of four-year telecast rights for domestic cricket matches) under Article 32G and Article 12, even while maintaining it under Article 226 in the high court.

    This means that the supreme court has not completely let BCCI off the hook. In simplest terms: though BCCI may not be an instrument of the state, it is still answerable to the public.

    Even here, after the split verdict delivered by a two-judge bench on a petition filed by former BCCI president AC Muthiah, challenging the amendment made in BCCI rules to enable N Srinivasan to contest elections for the post of BCCI secretary, the matter is now being heard afresh by a larger bench.

    The bench may take a relook at the earlier judgment that BCCI is not “state” under Article 12 of the constitution.

    That said, the supreme court has still held BCCI to be a public body discharging public functions. This means it comes under the purview of the RTI Act.

    Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act provides for definition of the term "public authority", which means and connotes:

    a) an authority or a body or an institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the constitution,

    b) an authority or a body or an institution of self-government established or constituted by a law made by parliament,

    c) an authority or a body or an institution of self-government established or constituted by a law made by the state legislature,

    d) an authority or a body or an institution of self-government established or constituted by a notification issued or order made by the appropriate government.

    BCCI is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and an autonomous body. However, the undeniable fact is that it still discharges some functions which partake nature of public duties or state actions and therefore even if it is held not to be “state”, it cannot deny being a “public authority” under the RTI Act.

    The Delhi high court in the case of Indian Olympic Association & others vs Veeresh Malik and others, 2010 (Indlaw Del 489), held that the country is in the midst of a continuing task to ensure social justice and equity to all the people on the one hand; and on the other, the imperative of economic growth and development, as well as the spread of its benefits to all.

    Educating, clothing and providing shelter, employment and basic health care to all the people are non-derogable priorities. The model chosen by the government of ensuring spread of welfare and its benefits, include functioning through non-government agencies, which are tasked and assisted for this purpose. The crucial role of access to information here cannot be understated. It is in this context that Section 2 (h) recognises that non-state actors may have responsibilities of disclosing information which would be useful, and necessary for the people they serve, as it furthers the process of empowerment, assures transparency, and makes democracy responsive and meaningful.

    BCCI has argued before the chief information commissioner (CIC) that it is not a public authority because it does not get funds from the government. However, the sports ministry had responded, saying that BCCI was receiving benefits like exemptions in customs duty and is seen as a national sports body.

    BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur defended the stand taken before the Central Information Commission (CIC) that the board has written to the sports ministry why it is against the sports bill.

    Maken, in his bid to tame BCCI, and to bring it within the purview of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) and ensure transparency in the functioning of all sports bodies, made a failed attempt to introduce the National Sports (Development) Bill 2011, which also recommended that sports bodies should be brought under the RTI Act. The sports ministry's move to include cricket along with other sports in the Bill and bring it under the RTI fell flat and it is argued that the men behind BCCI run Indian cricket with an iron fist.

    For the present the BCCI is happy merely placing its audited account on their website. It finds solace from the fact that even the supreme court has not held it to be 'the state', then why RTI? This has been adequately answered by the Delhi high court in IFCI vs. Ravinder Balwani’s case, where it has held that given the fact that there is a specific definition of what constitutes a 'public authority' for the purposes of the RTI Act, there is no warrant for incorporating the tests evolved by the supreme court in Pradeep Kumar Biswas for the purposes of Article 12 of the constitution. While it is possible that an authority within the meaning of Article 12 is likely to be a 'public authority' under the RTI Act, the converse need not be necessarily true.

    Given the purpose and object of the RTI Act, the only consideration is whether the body in question answers the description of a 'public authority' under Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act. There is no need to turn to the constitution for this purpose, particularly when there is a specific statutory provision for that purpose. Even for the purposes of Section 2(h)(d) (i) or (ii) RTI Act for determining if the body is "owned", "controlled" or "substantially financed" directly or indirectly by the appropriate government whereas the Article 12 tests, which talk of "deep and pervasive" control or "dominance", are not helpful.

    Therefore, it is in the fitness of things that BCCI graciously accepts its position of being a “public authority” under the RTI Act, 2005 in order to maintain its dignity and allow fair probe in to the allegations of benami equity, tax dodges, cooked up balance sheets, related-party transactions and conflicts of interest (particularly the Indian Premier League) in a fair and transparent manner. If there’s nothing to hide, why hesitate?


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  3. #43
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    Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law


    As reported by PTI in rediff.com on 31 May 2012:
    Sports Ministry asks CIC to bring BCCI under RTI - Rediff.com Sports

    Sports Ministry asks CIC to bring BCCI under RTI


    The Sports Ministry is pinning its hope on the Central Information Commission to bring the Board of Control for Crickt in India [ Images ] under the purview of the Right To Information Act.

    Sports Minister Ajay Maken [ Images ] said he has appealed to the CIC to bring the BCCI under RTI for varied reasons."We have appealed to the CIC (to bring BCCI under RTI). Our appeal is based on a number of valid reasons," he told reporters after unveiling the Draft National Youth Policy in Delhi [ Images ] on Thursday.

    "The first reason why the BCCI should come under RTI is that the lands on which the state federations have built their stadiums and other facilities have been provided by the state governments.

    "Moreover, from 1996 to 2006, the government has given a tax exemption of Rs 365 crore to the BCCI," he said.

    "And the most important thing is that the biggest public function they are performing is by selecting the team for India. Any team or institution which plays under the Indian flag should come under RTI," Maken added.

    The proposed National Sports Bill, which was prepared after receiving comments and suggestions from various stakeholders and the public, seeks to have BCCI as National Sports Federation (NSF) and wants it to function as a public authority and comply with the requirements specified in the RTI Act.

    If the BCCI becomes an NSF, it would be bound to provide information under the RTI and would also be forced to follow the anti-doping rules as specified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).These proposals of the Bill have been vehemently opposed by the BCCI and some other sports bodies, including the Indian Olympic [ Images ] Association (IOA), which want to continue functioning in an autonomous manner, free from public scrutiny and accountability.


    Twitter: @cjkarira

  4. Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law



    As reported by The Times of India, timesofindia.indiatimes.com

    Sports Ministry appeals to CIC to bring BCCI under RTI

    NEW DELHI: The Sports Ministry is pinning its hope on the Central Information Commission to bring the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) under the purview of the Right to Information Act.

    Sports Minister Ajay Maken said he has appealed to the CIC to bring BCCI under RTI for varied reasons.

    "We have appealed to the CIC (to bring BCCI under RTI). Our appeal is based on a number of valid reasons," he told reporters after unveiling the Draft National Youth Policy on Thursday.

    "The first reason why the BCCI should come under RTI is that the lands on which the state federations have built their stadiums and other facilities have been provided by the state governments.

    "Moreover, from 1996 to 2006, the government has given a tax exemption of Rs 365 crore to the BCCI," he said.

    "And the most important thing is that the biggest public function they are performing is by selecting the team for India. Any team or institution which plays under the Indian flag should come under RTI," Maken added.

    The proposed National Sports Bill, which was prepared after receiving comments and suggestions from various stakeholders and the public, seeks to have BCCI as National Sports Federation (NSF) and wants it to function as a public authority and comply with the requirements specified in the RTI Act.

    If the BCCI becomes an NSF, it would be bound to provide information under the RTI and would also be forced to follow the anti-doping rules as specified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    These proposals of the Bill have been vehemently opposed by the BCCI and some other sports bodies, including the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), which want to continue functioning in an autonomous manner, free from public scrutiny and accountability.
    Exercise your Right To get Information by holding Govt. accountable to the governed.
    Preamble:"
    democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed".

  5. Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law


    Sports Bill bowls RTI googly at BCCI

    Reported by Thehindu.com on July 10, 2013
    Sports Bill bowls RTI googly at BCCI - The Hindu

    The BCCI could be again set on collision course with the Sports Ministry as a contentious clause in the Draft National Sports Development Bill states that only those federations who come under the Right to Information Act (RTI) ambit will have the right to use ‘India’ as the team’s name.

    The committee headed by Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal on Wednesday submitted the Draft National Sports Development Bill to the ministry.

    Clause (h) of the proposed Bill will certainly cause a few problems for the BCCI as it pertains to use of country name in sporting activities.

    It states: “In order to represent India in international events and to have a right for a particular sport federation to use ‘India’ or ‘Indian’ in the sport scenario, the federation shall have to comply with Chapter IV (Unethical practices in Sports) and Chapter IX (Applicability of Right to Information Act).”

    The BCCI is not a registered National Sports Federation (NSF) as it does not take government grant and thus cannot be brought under RTI but if the Draft Sports Bill is finally passed by the Parliament, then Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co can’t officially represent ‘India’ at international tournaments.

    BCCI’s interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya declined to comment on the issue before having a detailed look at the document.

    “It will be unfair to make any comments on this issue until I get a copy of the draft Sports Bill. Once I have a detailed look, I will discuss the issue with the other senior members of the board and take a final call,” Dalmiya told PTI.

  6. Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law


    BCCI cannot use India unless it comes under RTI: Draft Bill

    Reported by Zeenews.india.com on July 10, 2013
    BCCI cannot use India unless it comes under RTI: Draft Bill

    New Delhi: The BCCI could be again set on collision course with the Sports Ministry as a contentious clause in the Draft National Sports Development Bill states that only those federations who come under the Right to Information Act (RTI) ambit will have the right to use `India` as the team`s name.

    The committee headed by Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal today submitted the Draft National Sports Developmemt Bill to the ministry which was later put up on its website.


    Clause (h) of the proposed Bill will certainly cause a few problems for the BCCI as it pertains to use of country name in sporting activities.

    It states: "In order to represent India in international events and to have a right for a particular sport federation to use `India` or `Indian` in the sport scenario, the federation shall have to comply with Chapter IV (Unethical practices in Sports) and Chapter IX (Applicability of Right to Information Act)."


    The BCCI is not a registered National Sports Federation (NSF) as it does not take government grant and thus cannot be brought under RTI but if the Draft Sports Bill is finally passed by the Parliament, then Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co. can`t officially represent `India` at international tournaments.

    BCCI`s interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya declined to comment on the issue before having a detailed look at the document.

    "It will be unfair to make any comments on this issue until I get a copy of the draft sports bill. Once I have a detailed look, I will discuss the issue with the other senior members of the board and take a final call," Dalmiya said.

    BCCI`s General Manager (Game Development) Ratnakar Shetty also refused to make any comments.

  7. #47

    CIC issues formal notice to BCCI


    Reported by Jasvinder Sandhu in espncricinfo.com
    India Cricket News: Central Information Commission issues formal notice to BCCI | ESPN Cricinfo

    CIC issues formal notice to BCCI

    India's Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the BCCI and all its 29 member units for details about the land and buildings occupied by them, including information on stadiums allotted by state governments, the annual rent paid by the BCCI, and its units and copies of lease deeds as part of their agreement. The Information Commissioner has constituted a full bench of the CIC to hear the case on July 25 and 26 in New Delhi.

    The CIC is a government body formed to effectively shed light on the working of India's traditionally opaque public institutions by entertaining petitions from the public under the country's relatively new Right to Information Act (RTI); a ruling earlier this month sought to bring political parties within its purview. Under the law, the Central and State Information Commissions have the same powers as a civil court.

    The CIC's issuing of a notice to the BCCI is yet another step by the Indian government to establish the BCCI as a public body. The BCCI is currently registered as a private society. In its notice, dated July 10, the CIC has directed the BCCI and all of its affiliated units to attend the hearing either personally or through authorised representatives.

    The CIC's deputy registrar K L Dass, who is the signatory on the notice to the BCCI, said: "The question here is whether the BCCI is a public authority or not and [to this end] the CIC wants to check if the BCCI is getting any government funding? This is why [the] CIC has asked the BCCI and its units to provide details."

    The CIC has also instructed the BCCI and its member units to provide information regarding income tax, customs duty, entertainment tax exemptions, if any, for the last five years from the 2007-08 fiscal year. The full bench is also expected to examine the security expenses incurred by states government for organising cricket matches during the same period.

    The petitioner, Delhi resident Madhu Agrawal, says that bringing the BCCI under the RTI Act is a matter of national importance because the BCCI conducts cricket matches with various teams under their purview, and utilises facilities offered by the federal and state governments.

    Agrawal's petition is a redrafted version of an existing petition filed by her husband Subhash Agrawal, a well-known RTI activist.

    That petition is pending before a one-member bench of the CIC. Agrawal told ESPNcricinfo that he had redrafted the petition "as there were a few weak elements." It was filed in his wife's name because RTI rules give priority to petitions filed by women over 65. A full bench of the CIC is required to take up such cases "sooner than any other case," Agrawal said.

    The CIC has also been hearing a petition against the BCCI, following a 2005 case concerning its public function. The BCCI has submitted a copy of the Supreme Court's judgment of 2005 in the Zee Telefilms v Union of India & others, which said the BCCI was not defined as a 'state'. The BCCI also argued it didn't take any financial help from the Indian Government. In February, 2011 though, the Supreme Court upheld a Kerala High Court decision and stated that officials of the Kerala Cricket Association are 'public servants'.

  8. Re: BCCI not covered by RTI law


    BCCI to tell CIC today why RTI should not apply to it

    Reported by Manoj Mitta in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 25, 2013
    BCCI to tell CIC today why RTI should not apply to it - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The BCCI and 29 affiliates from across the country are due to appear on Thursday before the central information commission (CIC) to explain why they should remain outside the purview of RTI. But the Supreme Court judgment they are citing is actually a double-edge sword.

    For, even as it ruled that BCCI could not be considered as a statutory authority or an instrumentality of the state, the 2005 verdict in the Zee Telefilms case said it performed "public functions" for which writ petitions could be filed against it under Article 226 of the Constitution.

    Referring to its role in selecting an Indian team and controlling the occupation of players and others involved in the game of cricket, the majority verdict delivered by Justice Santosh Hegde said: "These activities can be said to be akin to public duties or State functions." More tellingly, the Constitution bench said, "it is clear that when a private body exercises public functions, the aggrieved person has a remedy not only under the ordinary law but also under the Constitution, by way of a writ petition under Article 226".

    This judicial ruling of BCCI's public accountability could well be used by RTI petitioner Madhu Agrawal to argue that this cricket body fulfilled the criteria prescribed for a "public authority" falling within the domain of RTI.

    Agrawal filed her complaint on July 8 close on the heels of a Bill drafted by the government seeking to keep all sports federations under the RTI ambit.

    The draft Bill stipulates that no sports federation can any longer have a right to represent India in international events unless it accepted the codified sports ethics and the applicability of RTI.

    Apart from the issue of its public duties, BCCI would also have to address Agrawal's claim that, for all its autonomy, it had been extensively subsidized by the government.

    In its notice on July 10, CIC asked BCCI and its state affiliates to provide details on the aspect of public funding, whether as huge chunks of land provided for cricket stadiums or in the form of tax breaks.

    This is because one of the criteria for a body to be treated as a "public authority" answerable under RTI is that it should have been "substantially financed ... directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government".

    Given the unusually large number of respondents in this case, the three-member bench of CIC headed by Satyananda Mishra is specially holding the two-day hearing in a big conference hall instead of its usual court room.

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