BCCI’s Frankenstein powers could soon be a thing of the past

The Bombay High Court ruling has come when N Srinivasan was set return as BCCI President © IANS

The Bombay High Court termed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s two-member probe panel on Indian Premier League (IPL) fixing scandal “illegal and unconstitutional”. The Justice Mudgal Committee, on the other hand, is trying to bring the board under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in the draft of the Sports Development Bill 2013. Aayush Puthran lauds the efforts of the Bombay HC and Mudgal Committee to bring sanity within the BCCI.

The results of the BCCI’s Working Committee meeting on Sunday were a joke to be subtle and disappointing to be honest. The refusal to clean-up the filth in the game has further tarnished the name of Indian cricket in the eyes of the world.

The board’s refusal to accept reports of Delhi and Mumbai police openly exposes the intolerance in the system that runs the nation’s biggest sporting love — cricket

However, it was a fine offering by the Bombay High Court, which called the BCCI’s two-member probe panel “illegal and unconstitutional”. The current state of BCCI’s functioning definitely needs a revamp in order to save it from drowning in the dumps.

At the same time, it is equally pleasing to know the draft of the Sports Development Bill 2013 states that all the sports bodies, including the BCCI, will have to come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act once the Bill is passed by the Parliament. The Justice Mukul Mudgal-headed committee must be lauded for its decision to take stern measures to control the Frankenstein powers of the BCCI.

There are two ways of looking at BCCI’s defense that it’s a private body that performs a public function:

1.       If the BCCI is indeed carrying out a public activity, for all its nobility with no monetary consideration which is not meant to be seen, then why aren’t the functions transparent?

2.       Or, if the board is a private body, then the question arises is whether the Government of India can form another cricket body of its own to represent the country. It might create a political mess just like Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) finds itself in, but it will be a sharp move to deal with the high-handedness of the Indian board.

Cricket historian Boria Majumdar noted, “If the BCCI refuses to come under the ambit of the RTI, then they cannot send the national team under the tag ‘India’.” However, one wonders if BCCI continues to stay rigid in its stance, would it even hold the right to send the national team at all in the future.

(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)