Central Information Commission (CIC)
Central Information Commission (CIC)

New Delhi: Wondering why cricket’s controlling body of the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), not be not answerable under the RTI Act in light of various judicial orders and a recent law commission report, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has sought an explanation from the sports body and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

“It is the responsibility of the CIC to put an end to this prolonging uncertainty which makes the BCCI non-transparent and unaccountable without any moral backing and legal reasoning,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.

The matter came before him as Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports did not give a satisfactory response to an RTI applicant, Geeta Rani, who had sought to know the provisions and guidelines under which the BCCI has been representing India and selecting players for the country.

The applicant also asked whether the players selected by BCCI are playing for India or for the association; how can a private association represent the country internationally; what is the benefit of the government in giving rights and authority to BCCI to represent the country, through the 12-pointer RTI application.

The ministry claimed it had no information available and since BCCI has not been declared as public authority under the RTI Act, hence the RTI application could not be transferred to the BCCI. 

Under-secretary in the ministry Arun Kumar Singh submitted during the hearing that the law commission calling BCCI as public authority is still under examination.

He said it becomes important to hear whether the BCCI is answerable under the RTI Act.

“Her question whether it is ‘a Team India’ or ‘Team BCCI’ raises an issue of exclusive authorisation of the BCCI to select team for India. 

In fact, this exclusiveness of authorisation created a monopoly in favour of federal body of sports for cricket called the BCCI and because of which all its wealth is created,” he said.

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