BCCI performs public functions thus it is amenable to the Writ Jurisdiction of HC under Article 226

Supreme Court: In a breakthrough decision by the Court in the notorious ‘IPL Betting and Spot-fixing Scam’ where the Court framed major issues on whether the BCCI falls within the ambit of ‘State’ as under Article 12 of the Constitution and whether the BCCI is amenable under the writ jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226 along with questions on the capacity of Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan in their respective IPL teams and the allegations against N. Srinivasan whether they stand proved or not. Perusing the issues, the Court observed that the BCCI even though not a ‘state’ under Art. 12 does perform certain public functions like selection of the team to represent the country in international arena and has a complete sway on the game of cricket which make it amenable to the Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court under Article 226.

With regard to Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meyiappan that whether they are ‘team officials’ for the purposes of disciplinary actions, the Court agreed with the findings of the probe committee and held them to be guilty of betting. As for N. Srinivasan, who was accused of covering up Gurunath Meyiappan’s involvement in the scam using his influence as the BCCI Chief, the Court observed that this allegation was merely based on suspicion which cannot be taken as a proof to hold him guilty therefore the allegation cannot be said to be proved with certainty.

In its other observation, the Court on amendment of Regulation 6.2.4, which states that except Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20, no administrator, officer, player or umpire shall have any direct or indirect commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the board, observed that amendment negates the resolves of the BCCI by permitting situations in which conflict of interest would grossly erode the confidence of the people in the authenticity, purity and integrity of the game. An amendment which strikes at the very essence of the game as stated in the Anti Corruption Code cannot obviously co-exist with the fundamental imperatives. The Court also stated that the conflict of interest issue has the led the public to doubt the manner of working of the BCCI. The Court further directed to form an independent committee comprising of former C.J.I and 2 former Supreme Court judges on behalf of BCCI to look into the matter of imposing punishments on Meyiappan and Kundra and examine the role played by Sundar Raman in the betting scam along with amendments in the Memorandum of Association of the BCCI; amendment of Rule 6.2.4 and other recommendations of the Mudgal Committee.

In the present case Radha Rangaswamy and Gagan Gupta argued for the appellants and the respondents respectively, along with noted counsels like Siddharth Luthra and Kapil Sibal. Board of Cricket Control for Cricket in India v. Cricket Association of Bihar2015 SCC OnLine SC 60, decided on 22.01.2015

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