News By/Courtesy: Himani Aggarwal | 20 Apr 2018 2:23am IST

The Law Commission of India is absolutely right in recommending that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with its constituent member cricketing associations should be treated like other public bodies and brought under the RTI Act. Currently, BCCI’s legal status is that of a private entity under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.
The world’s richest cricketing body in 2004 went so far as to claim in court that India’s cricket team plays as “the official team of BCCI and not the official team of India.” Its lawyers also claimed in the Supreme Court that it does “not even fly the national flag” nor does it “use any national emblem in the activities of the Board.” BCCI also tried to hide its private machinations behind this cloak of being a private entity. Nothing could be more insulting for billions of Indians for whom few things are more representative of the nation that Team India. It is precisely for this reason the Supreme Court had appointed the Committee of Administrators under Vinod Rai to clean the rot in BCCI that was exposed by the IPL match fixing scandal.
As the Law Commission rightly argued, even though BCCI is not technically a National Sports Federation (NSF) under the law, it still nominates cricketers for prestigious government awards like the Arjuna Awards. On the other hand the BCCI’s logic that it is not dependent of government funding like other NSFs is flawed as the cricket body has been one of the largest beneficiaries of government largesse in the form of land grants and tax exemptions. The Law Commission report states BCCI received tax exemptions of more than Rs 2,100 crore between 1997-2007 and it was only from 2007-2008 onwards that its registration as a charitable trust under section 12A of the Income Tax Act was withdrawn. This push for transparency in running Indian cricket is much needed and BCCI should act as a government body for cricket in India rather than claiming to be a private body.

Editor: Krishna Srinivas V | 20 Apr 2018 21:54pm IST

Tags : #BCCI #TeamIndia

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