In the words of India’s former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi “Take the case of Delhi (DDCA). It is a ‘company’ under Section 25 of the Companies Act.”
Well, only the Delhi Cricket board might ‘officially’ be a company, but all of the state cricket boards and the BCCI do act like a company.
Held by a few. Focused on profits. And screwing every second person they meet.
Now, a layperson might think that the BCCI is a government-sport body. Like the Olympic Association. Right? Wrong!
Even I was of the opinion that BCCI was a body that came under the Indian Government, I mean logic seemed to lead to this conclusion. I mean a body which represents India globally, is responsible for all the aspects of management of a sport which has a cult like status in India.
But unfortunately, logic often takes a backseat in India. BCCI is actually a society, charitable organization registered under the Tamil Nadu Securities Act. It is a consortium of state cricket associations and the state cricket associations select their representatives who in turn elect the BCCI officials.
No government purview. Nothing.
Now one interesting fact that has to be noted here is that although the BCCI is a private ‘society’ not under the purview of any governmental regulations, it still represents India on an international level.
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It’s like Reliance selects diplomats and staffs embassies and goes as a representative of India to summits like The World Government Summit.
Moreover, to quote Sportskeeda “BCCI has no legal provision to use the word “India” in its name, nor does it stand the right to field a team called “India”, since the name implies patronage from the Government of India.
As BCCI has continuously refused to identify itself as a public authority and since they are not officially recognized as a national sports federation, it is illegal to insinuate government patronage.
In short, BCCI is a private body, that officially represents India in ICC, without government recognition, which is illegal according to the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.”
Now, BCCI has been accused of leveraging this free-for-all nature of their organization to the maximum of their capacity. Since it is a charity organization, BCCI is entitled to tax exemptions. The cash flush board also refuses to come under the Right to Information Act and has been fighting against various petitions before the Central Information Commission.
Moreover, BCCI argues that it is not a public authority and hence does not need to come under the RTI Act. Not being a public body also allows BCCI to not be accountable and answerable to the government nor the public.
There have been numerous reports of cronyism corruption within the BCCI and various other sports boards. The recent spate of allegations has arisen because of the discovery of betting and fixing in the IPL. Upon investigation, it was revealed that many BCCI officials were also involved.
Further, there also emerged a conflict of interest for the BCCI Chairman, N Srinivasan. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan owns Indian Cements which further owns Chennai Super Kings. Starting to get it?
Speaking of State boards, the DDCA was accused of rampant corruption by MP and Ex-Cricketer Kirti Azad.
He said that the DDCA has around 1900 proxy members and 40 percent of its staff is fake. Azad also went on to say that DDCA has no particular rules for tenders and no register for attendance.
He also revealed major discrepancies in revamping of the Ferozeshah Shah Kotla Stadium. He said that while the cost of building Dharamsala stadium was 20 cr, a whopping 100 cr was spent on the Delhi one.
There were also reports of family members or known associates being inducted into the ranks of these cricket associations. There were also allegations of acceptance of bribes for admission into the various state cricket teams.
All of these allegations were brought to light and as a result, the Supreme Court constituted the Lodha Committee to reform cricket in India.
But being as they are, the bonhomie of the cricket associations resisted these changes with quite the force. Further, none from this brotherhood break the silence because it is the BCCI which pays their bills.
And all that they have to argue is that they’re private organizations and therefore cannot come under the purview of the RTI. That they can’t be investigated so.
Well, I can’t make heads or tails of it. So many obvious cases of corruption and cronyism but no definite way to solve this except one: complete and utter reform. Because see, this problem is not localized, it is spread all over the place and interconnected.
Treat the problem, not the symptoms.
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