Takeaways from the inclusion of BCCI under RTI
In 2015, the Supreme Court passed a judgment where it found the functions of BCCI (Board of control for cricket in India) to be, by their very nature, 'Public functions’. And the RTI (Right to Information) Act applies to ‘Public Authorities’.
The Lodha committee came out with a report (dated December 18, 2015) recommending several steps and measures to streamline the working of the BCCI.
The Lodha committee found that the BCCI to be lacking in fairness and transparency. It felt that the people of the country should have the right to know details about the BCCI’s functions and activities.
The 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 national team.
Geeta also asked whether the players selected by the BCCI are playing for India or the association, how can a private body represent the country internationally, how’s the government benefiting from giving rights and authority to BCCI to represent the country in International tournaments among others.
Thus it recommended that the BCCI should come under RTI act.
What Impact would it have?
The inclusion of BCCI under RTI act is a clear indication that there is a need to know the transparent proceedings of one of the largest Private bodies in India, The BCCI.
There always has been a speculation in the people mind on the selection process as long as one can remember, that’s how cricket is in India. We all tend to be the selectors when India is going on tours or is hosting a series here. As fans, we have stats and we have predictions of every player. So, being transparent in the selection process would mean a great sneak peek of the information for millions of fans.
Well, if the BCCI comes under the proposed RTI Act as discussed in the law commission, then it would be transparent with team selections, organization of events, team training or sending team for competitions, board meetings minutes, emails and contracts, all these can be subject to RTI inquiries
My take on this:
The decision of inclusion of BCCI under RTI is a right decision. We, as fans, had only witnessed the live action of the most loved sport on the ground or on our TV screen, that was the only access we had apart from the gossips that media created, but now is the time where we could have access to go beyond that and get to know the why a decision has been made.
When the spirit of the game is in alignment with the spirit of a fan, it’s the oneness that people talk about and I think the transparency would make cricket much bigger than what we know it is today.