BCCI set to come under RTI after IPL clean chit

The Board of Control for Cricket in India may end up under the ambit of the Right to Information Act after all.

The sports ministry has toughened its stand against the BCCI after what is being seen as a "hasty" probe by a two-member panel into the Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting scandal that cleared top team officials of any wrongdoing.

The ministry has insisted that the board will have to come under the RTI Act to continue using "India" as its team name in international competitions.

Sports Secretary P K Deb said Monday the BCCI would not be exempted from the RTI Act.

"The board should have waited for the police probe to get over before clearing them. The BCCI, like all other national sports federations, will have to come under the RTI and anti-doping regulations. We will stick by the recommendations made to us by the Justice Mukul Mudgal-led panel," Deb told The Indian Express.

The sports ministry had adopted a lenient approach towards the BCCI and kept some provisions of the revised Sports Bill, drafted this month, as optional for the BCCI.

But Sunday's revelations about the clean chit given by the BCCI's probe panel to IPL team officials — Gurunath Meiyappan of the Chennai Super Kings and Raj Kundra, co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals — citing lack of evidence, has changed its stand.

A similar attempt in 2011 to bring the BCCI under the RTI Act did not get Cabinet approval. But this time, opposition, especially from politicians who are part of the BCCI, is likely to be subdued as top BCCI officials —some of whom are members of Parliament —are on the defensive after the IPL scandal.

If the ministry gets its way, the BCCI will have to adopt the Elimination of Unethical Practices law, which includes anti-doping measures and also forms a strong code of ethics.

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