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BCCI to be brought under RTI Act; Board will be open to questions within 15 days

Vaibhav Joshi
333   //    02 Oct 2018, 09:24 IST

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Have you ever thought: "what if BCCI becomes answerable to questions from people outside the organization?" Well, BCCI has now become an answerable entity as the Central Information Commission ruled that a common man outside the jurisdiction of the organization can also ask questions to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the RTI Act, as per reports in Mirror. 

BCCI to be covered under RTI Act

The Law Commission of India concluded that the status, nature and functional characteristics of the BCCI fulfil the required conditions of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. Section 2(h) of the Act defines criteria under which a body can be declared as a public authority under the RTI Act.

“The SC has also reaffirmed that the BCCI is the ‘approved’ national-level body holding virtually monopoly rights to organize cricketing events in the country,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in a 37-page long order."

Sridhar Acharyulu, the Information Commissioner, also addressed the office bearers of BCCI, President, and Secretary to allocate exemplary officials under the posts: central public information officers, central assistant public information officers, and first appellate authorities as mentioned in the law. 

Further, the Information Commissioner also directed the BCCI to set-up online and offline portals, within a stipulated time of 15 days, to receive requests for information under the RTI Act.

How did it come into place?

Recently, an RTI applicant Geeta Rani, had filed a plea which asked some tough questions to the BCCI. Under the plea, Rani sought to understand the stipulations and guidelines under which the BCCI has been representing India and selecting players for the national team. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports did not give an adequate reply to the applicant and hence the reason why the matter was brought up before the Information Commissioner. 

Through the RTI application, she also questioned about the association of players. She asked whether the players elected by the BCCI are representing India or the association. She also questioned how a private entity represents the country globally and what are the benefits acquired by the government by giving powers and jurisdiction to the BCCI to designate the country globally. 

However, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports didn't have answers to the question and said that the appeal could not be transferred to the BCCI as the board has not been announced as a public authority under the RTI Act.

“The BCCI should be listed as an NSF (national sports federation) covered under the RTI Act. The RTI Act should be made applicable to the BCCI along with its entire constituent member cricketing associations, provided they fulfill the criteria applicable to the BCCI, as discussed in the Law Commission’s report,” said the Information Commissioner as per the reports in Mirror.