The Law Commission has recommended the Centre to bring the world’s richest cricket body Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the purview of Right to Information Act (RTI) citing its “state like powers” in regulating the game even as it suggested that the board should be held “accountable” for any violations of basic human rights.
Stating that the apex cricket body “virtually acts as a National Sports Federation”, its 124-page report, headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan, recommended the Union Law Ministry that the BCCI be classified as an agency or instrumentality of the state, under Article 12 of the Constitution. In July 2016, the commission was asked by the Supreme Court to examine as to whether the BCCI could be covered under the ambit of the RTI Act. The move came in the backdrop of demands to bring transparency in the cricket body.
Emphasising that BCCI acted as a “limb of the state”, the commission said the body acknowledged foreign policy of India and “did not recognise a player from South Africa due to their practice of apartheid.” “The cricket matches between India and Pakistan in view of tense international relations were made subject to government approval.”
Who is a public authority?
The RTI Act defines “public authorities” in Section 2(h): A “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self- government established or constituted:
- By or under the Constitution.
- By any other law made by Parliament.
- By any other law made by State Legislature.
- By a notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any – Body owned, controlled or substantially financed and Non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government.