New Delhi: The BCCI is likely to challenge the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) ruling that the cricket board be brought under the RTI act with a top official accusing the Committee of Administrators (CoA) of ‘wilful negligence’ in dealing with the matter.
The CIC verdict would effectively mean that the BCCI become a National Sports Federation (NSF). The BCCI, which has resented coming under the RTI act claiming to be an autonomous entity, feels the CoA is to be blamed for the setback which hit the Board, Monday evening.
“I believe there has been wilful negligence on part of the CoA in botching up BCCI’s right to legal representation,” a senior BCCI official, while talking about the legal ramifications of the CIC order, told this agency Tuesday.
The CIC has directed the BCCI to put in place, within 15 days, online and offline mechanisms to receive applications for information under the RTI Act.
“There was a CIC hearing July 10 when it was asked as to why BCCI shouldn’t come under the RTI? The BCCI didn’t even file a reply and sat on the show-cause notice. Now the only way is to challenge the order in High Court and take it from there on,” the official said.
Another BCCI official said the CoA, comprising Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, might just ‘tie the albatross of RTI’ around the BCCI’s neck before announcing elections.
“We hear that BCCI wants to partially come under the RTI and not reveal things like team selection and all? Is it a joke? If BCCI challenges, there won’t be any half measures. It will be all or nothing,” he said.
He then went on to give a few sample questions that will be asked first up if the BCCI comes under the RTI. “It could be about selection process and any involvement of IPL franchises in it or about personal conduct of certain officials,” said the official.
The official said: “I am not sure if the CoA is ready to answer these tough questions. More so it is the office-bearers who should be given powers to take legal recourse. It is unfortunate that honourable SC’s orders are being misused by CoA.”
Rai, on his part, said the CoA is committed to ensuring transparency in the Board but steered clear of any direct comment on the CIC order. “In continuance of the CIC order, we would like to convey that we wholeheartedly support transparency and have created a robust platform in the form of the website. Through this medium, we have been putting our processes and decisions out in public domain,” he said in a statement.
The BCCI official, in response to Rai’s statement, said while the CoA chief was making the right noises about transparency, the intent was missing in action. He said that it was the SC which reformed the BCCI structure to make it more transparent.