Issue of Bringing BCCI under RTI
The Central Information Commission (CIC) in its latest order issued on June 16th has urged the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) to bring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the ambit of the RTI Act. In its previous order issued on June 9th, the CIC had explained the need for making BCCI as a public authority. In its order it had questioned the PMO, the Ministry of Law and Justice, and the Sports Ministry as why the BCCI has not been brought under the RTI Act.
What are the arguments that favour bringing BCCI under RTI Act?
BCCI is a National Sports Federation for cricket. It receives thousands of crores towards tax concessions. In 2010, the government had declared that all the National Sports Federations receiving a grant of ₹ 10 lakh or above should be considered as a Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI, 2005. Hence, it is argued that the BCCI should be brought under the ambit of the RTI Act and be made accountable to the public.
RTI Act will enhance transparency in the functioning of BCCI and will act as a check on enormous amount of public money earned by BCCI. The officials and players should be made accountable to their actions and should get penalized too in case of misdeeds.
Lodha committee has also favoured bringing BCCI under the RTI Act.
What are the arguments put forward by the BCCI?
BCCI has argued that it is auditing its accounts. So there is no question of corruption and malpractices.
Secondly, as BCCI has been registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, it claims itself to be a private body. So, it argues that it should not be brought under RTI Act.
Why BCCI should be considered as a public authority?
BCCI is a National Sports Federation for cricket and has a complete monopoly and control over the sport of cricket in India. It gets all types of recognition and facilities from the central and state governments. It receives thousands of crores of rupees towards tax concessions. They are given lands by state and UT governments for building stadiums. The government also provides security during matches and facilities for visa. Hence, bodies which are substantially financed by the Central government or a State government shall be deemed to be considered as a public authority.