Law Commission of India: Bring BCCI under the Purview of RTI Act

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April 19, 2018

The Law Commission of India on April 18, 2018 released its 275th Report titled Legal Framework: BCCI vis-à-vis Right to Information Act. The Commission prepared the Report pursuant to Supreme Court’s direction in the case of Board of Control for Cricket v. Cricket Association of Bihar & Ors.[1].

The Law Commission’s Report can be accessed here.

One of the seminal issue that was taken by the Law Commission in the Report was Whether BCCI should be ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12?

The Law Commission in its report states that BCCI ought to be classified as ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution. An analysis of the functioning of BCCI also shows that the Government does exercise control over its activities and functioning.

The Law Commission recommends that the BCCI shall be brought within the purview of the RTI Act.

Recommendations by the Law Commission

  • Non-consideration of the role played by BCCI as monopolistic in regulation of the game of cricket has resulted in the Board flying under the radar of public scrutiny, encouraged an environment of opacity and non-accountability.
  • BCCI exercises ‘State-like’ powers affecting the fundamental rights of the stakeholders, guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution. It is hereby recommended that BCCI be viewed as an agency or instrumentality of State, under Article 12 of the Constitution, thereby making it amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32.
  • Human rights are sacrosanct and innately associated with the human personality. These rights are continually evolving, are to be respected by, and can be enforced against not only the ‘State’ but also private bodies/entities. Therefore, the BCCI should be held accountable, under all circumstances, for any violations of basic human rights of the stakeholders.
  • The Commission has recommended that the Government shall regard BCCI as a National Sports Federation and this express mention would automatically bring BCCI within the purview of RTI Act.
  • That RTI Act be made applicable to BCCI along with all of its constituent member cricketing associations, provided they fulfil the criteria applicable to BCCI, as discussed in this Report.

[1] (2015) 3 SCC 251