Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CIC says BCCI should come under the RTI Act

The Hindu: Chennai: Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
In its latest order dated June 16, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has urged the Committee of Administrators (CoA) running the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to bring the organisation under the RTI Act.
In a previous order on June 9, the CIC had elaborately explained the need for making BCCI a public authority.
The latest order states that the Sports Minister had told the Lok Sabha in 2012 that BCCI was a National Sports Federation for cricket, which received thousands of crores towards tax concessions. Thus it has to come under the RTI in order to remain accountable to the public. The CIC in its order has asked the PMO, the Ministry of Law and Justice, and the Sports Ministry as to why RTI was not being implemented by the organisation.
The appellant, Subhash Chandra Agarwal, approached the CIC seeking the order after his queries addressed to the PMO on the BCCI’s lack of transparency remained unanswered. The PMO had transferred his query to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, but received no response.
The appellant had raised the matter of dissatisfaction expressed by national hockey players winning the Asian Champions Trophy getting only ₹ 25,000 as award money, announced by Hockey India, whereas Indian cricketers winning the World Cup Final were given ₹ 2 crore as award money by the BCCI after cricketers felt dissatisfied with the earlier announcement of ₹ 1 crore award money, in addition to more awards from State governments and others.
Court rulings
The CIC order states that in April 2010, the government had declared all the National Sports Federations (NSF)s receiving a grant of ₹ 10 lakh or more as a Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI, 2005. It lists the thousands of crores of tax exemptions the organisation received on its income.
It also cites the fact that the BCCI has tacit recognition or approval/ sanction from the government for selecting the Indian team, which gave it complete monopoly with deep and all-pervasive control over the sport of cricket in India.