Madras HC stays CIC's notice to BCCI

The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the notice issued by Central Information Commission (CIC) to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking the latter to appear for an inquiry related to an RTI application.

When the BCCI's stay petition came up for hearing, Justice K K Sasidharan ordered the interim stay of all proceedings. He ordered issue of notices to respondents (CIC and RTI applicant) returnable by August 20.

Following an RTI query made by Madhu Agarwal of Delhi with CIC on June 6, 2013, seeking information from BCCI, the Commission had sent notice on July 10 to BCCI asking to be present for inquiry on July 26 and 27.

Agarwal, in his query with CIC, asked the particulars and names of office-bearers of BCCI and complete information about facilities provided by the government to the BCCI in the last five years.

The Commission had also directed the Board to send a written representation containing items of information, sought by the applicant.

Ratnakar Shetty, General Manager (Game Development) of the BCCI, in his petition said the Board was not a 'public authority' and it did not enjoy any financial support from the government and was not subject to the superintendence of the government.

Citing three earlier judgments by the apex court, in which BCCI was held as an 'autonomous body,' he contended the impugned proceedings were "totally without jurisdiction," since the Board did not fall within the purview of the RTI Act.

Terming the procedure adopted by the commission as "wholly illegal", Shetty pointed out the CIC had sent notices to all of its members to appear at the hearing with the information sought without notice to the Board.
He prayed the court to stay all proceedings pursuant to the CIC notice and further sought to quash the same.

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