The Supreme Court today asked the Law Commission of India to examine the issue of bringing BCCI under the ambit of Right to Information Act (RTI) saying that since the board is discharging public functions, public has a right to know and demand information regarding its activities.
It said since those public functions are in nature of a monopoly in the hands of BCCI with tacit state government and central government approvals and the beneficiary being the citizens, there was a need for bringing its functioning under the transparency law.
A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice F M I Kalifulla, which accepted majority of the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in BCCI, observed that “as a possible first step” it expected that Law Commission would deal with it and make a suitable recommendation to the government.
While reading out the operative portion of the judgement, the CJI said the bench was leaving it to Parliament to decide whether functioning of BCCI can be brought under RTI.
“All that we need (to) say is that since BCCI discharges public functions and since those functions are in the nature of a monopoly in the hands of BCCI with tacit State Government and Central Government approvals, the public at large has a right to know and demand information as to the activities and functions of the BCCI especially when it deals with funds collected in relation to those activities as a trustee of wherein the beneficiary happens to be the people of this country,” the bench said in its 143-page verdict.
“As a possible first step in the direction in bringing BCCI under purview of Right to Information Act, we expect the Law Commission of India to examine the issue and make a suitable recommendation to the Government. Beyond that we do not consider it necessary to say anything at this stage,” it said.
The Justice Lodha panel had recommended that BCCI should be brought under the purview of the RTI Act and to carry out a suitable amendment to this effect.
The panel had said that people of the country have a right to know the details about the BCCI’s functions and activities and had recommended that legislature must seriously consider bringing the cricket body within the purview of the RTI Act.