BCCI open to judicial scrutiny

Published: Monday, October 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:As the Cricket Board fights a battle with the Government in the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court today held that the BCCI was open to judicial review under the constitution in discharge of its public duties and a writ can lie against it while it will not be so in the case of its private functions.

"In so far as the public functions are concerned, a writ petition would be maintainable against the BCCI. At the same time, as regards private matters having no public law element, a writ would not lie," a Bench comprising Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed said admitting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against the Board in year 2000.

"BCCI cannot be said to be beyond the sweep of Article 226 in all eventualities for all times to come. That is the certificate that BCCI wants from this court. We are afraid, we cannot grant that. Consequently, this petition cannot be thrown out on the maintainability issue," the Bench said.

The PIL filed by two cricket lovers -- advocate Rahul Mehra and Shantanu Sharma -- had alleged that BCCI was functioning as private empires of some businessmen and traders, who have come to control it and abuse it for their own interests and profits.

They had sought an independent probe into the functioning of BCCI and its accounts involving huge public money.

BCCI had contended that Government did not exercise any control over it and as a non-statutory body, no public duty was imposed upon it by statute. It was a society, nothing but a "private club" and as such issuance of writ against it would be completely beyond the scope of Article 226.

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