Is BCCI answerable under the RTI Act? Sports Min thinks so

The Central Information Commission in number of recent decisions on sports federations had declared them to be public authority covered under the RTI Act, but in 2008 Information Commissioner Padma Balasubramanian had exempted BCCI from the ambit of transparency law through her order.

The latest order of the Sports Ministry, however, cites the October 26, 2010 decision of the Kerala High Court which declared officials of Kerala Cricket Association as public servants. The appeal against the High Court order was dismissed by the Supreme Court this year.

"The High Court of Kerala in a case related to State Cricket Association, has ruled that the Federations are required to perform public duties by virtue of holding their offices and hence, are public servants.

"The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the ruling of the High Court," Joint Secretary Injeti Srinivas at the Ministry said in a reply to an RTI application seeking to know whether Supreme Court has held BCCI officials as public-servants.

Responding to the application, Srinivas who is the Appellate Authority at the Ministry "directed" the Public Information officer "to transfer the application to BCCI for response to the specific queries pertaining to them."

Activist Subhash Agrawal had sought to know from the Sports Ministry nature of assistance received by the BCCI from it, constitution of BCCI and its affiliated state-bodies, outline of BCCI budget for last two years, details of pending allegations of corruption etc against officials of BCCI.

He had also demanded information on money paid separately to each of players, coaches, selectors and members of board of BCCI in last two years, assets and awards given players, coaches and others by BCCI.

In addition, Agrawal also asked if BCCI had ever given some grant or loan to Constitution Club, New Delhi besides amount, date and purpose of such funds among other details of such financial help.

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