Government says BCCI is a public authority
In a seven-page written statement submitted before the Central Information Commission, the Sports Ministry said BCCI is performing the functions ‘akin’ to State and ‘public duties’ by selecting national teams and representing India in international events. The Sports Ministry has said that BCCI gets ‘substantial indirect funding’ from the Government in the form of revenue forego like ‘concessions in income tax, customs duty etc.’ and lands at concessional rates for stadiums. Further, the hidden costs of expenditure on security, visa clearances etc, being incurred by the Government cannot be denied.
The Ministry has claimed that there exists just and reasonable grounds for the BCCI to be declared as a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act. The status of BCCI has been under debate. The BCCI was registered under the section 12(a) read with Section 17(a) as a charitable organisation, make it eligible for such exemptions in the Income Tax, but it was withdrawn in December 2009 with effect from 1st June 2006. According to section 2(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any- (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; of the RTI Act, a non-Government organisation becomes a public authority and comes under the ambit of the act if it is substantially financed, ‘directly or indirectly’ by funds provided by the appropriate Government.