Who authorised BCCI to represent India?: Delhi High Court

Published: Thursday, August 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Delhi High Court reserved its order on the question of maintainability of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an independent investigation into the functioning of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its accounts involving huge public money.

A Bench of Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed reserved the order after BCCI counsel A M Singhvi and petitioner Rahul Mehra completed their rival arguments on the preliminary objection raised by the apex cricket body.

Mehra submitted that BCCI was discharging a public function and was also recognised by the Government and as such it was amenable to the writ jurisdiction of the court under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Contesting his submissions, Singhvi argued that a writ petition was not maintainable against a private body and court did not have any jurisdiction to entertain a PIL against BCCI.

The court pointed out that the Supreme Court has held in several cases that under Article 226 of the Constitution, a writ can be issued against even an individual.

The only test was if the person or body concerned was performing a public function or not. "If it is a public function, the writ would be maintainable," the court said.

Reading from the objects of BCCI's memorandum of association, the court said it was clear that the cricket body was performing a public function.

"Who has authorised you (BCCI) to represent India? Has Parliament passed any law to authorise you? Drop the word 'India' and do whatever you feel like," it told the BCCI counsel and even threatened an inquiry into the financial details of the cricket body by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

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