Court Blocks CIC Hearing About Indian Cricket Board

26 July 2013

A court order caused the Indian Central Information Commission to cancel a July 25 hearing on whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India should be declared a public authority subject to the Right to Information Act.

The Madras High Court issued the order, according to a report by NDTV and another by ESPN.

The full CIC had planned to hear from the Cricket Board about what benefits in receives from the national and state governments. RTI applicant Madhu Agrawal has argued for bringing the board under the RTI law.

CIC’s deputy registrar KL Dass, in a July 10 notice to the BCCI requesting information, wrote: “The question here is whether the BCCI is a public authority or not and the CIC wants to check if the BCCI is getting any government funding? This is why CIC has asked the BCCI and its units to provide details.”

The BCCI argued that the CIC had held in 2008 and 2011 that BCCI was not a “public authority” under section 2(h) of the RTI Act and cited a 2005 verdict in the Zee Telefilms case by the Supreme Court. A Times of India report called the Supreme Court decision a “double-edged sword” for the BCCI.

Legislation saying that no sports federation can represent India in international events unless it accepts coverage under the RTI is under development.

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