The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is covered under the RTI Act and answerable to the people of the country under its mechanism, the Central Information Commission ruled Monday. The commission, the top appellate body in RTI matters, went through the law, orders of the Supreme Court, the Law Commission of India report, submissions of the Central Public Information Officer in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to conclude that the status, nature and functional characteristics of the BCCI fulfil required conditions of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act.
“The SC has also reaffirmed that the BCCI is the approved’ national-level body holding virtually monopoly rights to organize cricketing events in the country,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in a 37-page long order. He directed the president, secretary and Committee of Administrators to designate deserving officers as central public information officers, central assistant public information officers and first appellate authorities as required under the law.
Acharyulu also directed the BCCI to put in place, within 15 days, online and offline mechanisms to receive applications for information under the RTI Act. The matter came before him as the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports did not give a satisfactory response to an RTI applicant, Geeta Rani, who had sought to know the provisions and guidelines under which the BCCI has been representing India and selecting players for the country.
The BCCI should be listed as an NSF covered under the RTI Act. The RTI Act should be made applicable to the BCCI along with its entire constituent member cricketing associations, provided they fulfil the criteria applicable to the BCCI, as discussed in the Law Commission’s report, he said.