Lodha recommends BCCI be brought under RTI, will the lawmakers allow it?

Sundar Raman has been given a clean-chit.
Lodha recommends BCCI be brought under RTI, will the lawmakers allow it?
Lodha recommends BCCI be brought under RTI, will the lawmakers allow it?

In what could change the nature of cricket administration in the country, the committee headed by Justice (retd) RM Lodha has recommended that BCCI should come under the RTI act. The body constituted by the Supreme Court to ‘clean up’ Indian cricket after the IPL spot fixing scandal in 2003 broke in public forum has also recommended that betting should be legalised with an inbuilt mechanism. 

The demand that the BCCI should be brought under RTI is a long standing one. 

The Justice Mukul Mudgal committee that was also appointed by the apex-court to look into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal had also spoken about bringing BCCI under the RTI ambit.

But the biggest hurdle could be the lack of political will, since politicians form a sizeable part of cricket administration in India.

If the BCCI has to be brought under the RTI act, a legislation will have to be enacted by the Parliament. 

"I believe that this is the right time to bring BCCI under the RTI (Right to Information Act) ambit. The national as well as all the state units should fall under RTI. What's happening in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Punjab is an outcome of the independent functioning of the cricket board," - Bhishen Singh Bedi in January 2015

"Let me be very clear...I have been telling time and again that as per the observation of the Supreme Court of India, BCCI is a public body. Now it is the expectations of the sports lover of the country that transparency and accountability should be there in the day-to-day affairs of all the sports federations,"- Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 2015

"The BCCI, like all other national sports federations, will have to come under the RTI and anti-doping regulations," then sports secretary PK Deb on July, 2013


"It is time to make BCCI functioning more transparently and it can be done through RTI,” Kirti Azad, July 2013.

Important recommendations by Lodha Committee:

While addressing the media, Justice (retd) RM Lodha said the present BCCI chief Shashank Manohar is already implementing some of the recommendations of the panel. He said, “BCCI is a national body. It represents length and breadth of the country and discharges public functions.”

Justice Lodha who heads the apex court constituted panel said that prior to the formation of its report, they had met BCCI office-bearers, President and secretary along with former Indian captains, including Sourav Gangly, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev.

Incidentally, former IPL COO Sundar Raman has been given a clean-chit. The committee had previously suspended Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra from any cricketing activity for five years. CSK and RR were also suspended according to the same recommendation.

These are the major takeaways from the 57 page report.

·         The panel recommended that the legislature could bring BCCI under the RTI Act. Currently, the cricket body is under the Societies Act.

·         The report reccomends legalization of betting with an inbuilt mechanism. Players will also have to disclose their assets as per the recommendation in order to curb betting.

·         Only one body from each state will have voting rights as a full member of the BCCI. Other bodies (universities, colleges, railways) will be deemed as associate members. It talks about formation of a supreme body with 30 state members and seven associate members.

·         Officials in the BCCI will be restricted to a maximum of three terms in office with no more than two successive stints and cannot hold more than a single post at any given point of time. There has to be a cool off period after each term.

·         Importantly, there should be two separate governing bodies for the BCCI and IPL. The panel recommends BCCI to be a run by a CEO assisted by six professional managers.  

·         The apex body of nine for running the IPL will have five elected office bearers of the BCCI including the BCCI secretary and treasurer.

·         It also recommends the formation of a players’ association and has named Mohinder Amarnath, Diana Eduljee and Anil Kumble to be part of a steering committee and will be headed by former Home Secretary G K Pillai. .

·         The Lodha Committee also wants agents to be registered to protect the interest of players.

·         An Ethics Officer, a former chief justice or high court judge will oversee the issue of conflict of Interest. An ombudsman and electoral officer should be appointed. A CAG auditor will also be part of the auditing body.

·         A BCCI official can’t be a minister or a government employee and has to be below 70 years of age.

·         Saying the BCCI to keep governance and management separate, it recommended cricketing matters to be handled only by cricketers including a selection of teams and coaching.

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