CIC brings BCCI under RTI

CIC brings BCCI under RTI


The Central Information Commission on Monday ruled that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was a public authority under the RTI Act and directed it to set up mechanisms to respond to queries under the law.

“... the Commission exercising its power under RTI Act, 2005 … hereby holds the BCCI as the public authority under RTI Act,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in a 37-page order.

The Commission said that it examined the law, orders of the Supreme Court, report of the Law Commission of India, submissions of the Central Public Information Officer in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to conclude that the status, nature and functional characteristics of the BCCI fulfilled all the required conditions of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act.

The Commission directed the president, secretary and Committee of Administrators to designate deserving officers as central public information officers, central assistant public information officers and first appellate authorities as required under the law.

It also asked the BCCI to put in place a system of online and offline mechanisms to receive the applications for information under the RTI Act to respond to them as early as possible but not later than 30 days from the date of application for information.

Acharyulu's order came after the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports failed to 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 Commission also directed the public authority, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, to take necessary steps to ensure implementation of its order and that BCCI updates information at regular intervals.

In its order, the Commission noted that the Supreme Court had reaffirmed that BCCI was the 'approved' national level body holding virtual monopoly rights to organise cricketing events in the country.

“The BCCI should have been held accountable under all circumstances, for any violations of basic human rights of the stakeholders. As on today, there is no mechanism to question such violations, except filing a general writ petition in Constitutional Courts,” the Commission said in the order.

The order of the Commission also noted that the BCCI having received notices from CIC did not appear on earlier dates of hearing, nor gave any written submission.

The Commission said that the BCCI should be listed as a National Sports Federation covered under the RTI Act.

“The RTI Act should be made applicable to BCCI along with its entire constituent member cricketing associations, provided they fulfil the criteria applicable to BCCI, as discussed in the Law Commission’s Report,” the Commission said.