PIL maintainable against BCCI

Published: Monday, October 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The Delhi High Court today held that a writ or a PIL was maintainable against the Board ofControl for Cricket in India (BCCI) as it discharged a public function.

The order came from a Division Bench of Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed on a PIL filed by Advocate Rahul Mehra seeking an independent probe into the functioning of the BCCI and its accounts involving huge public money.

The Bench said in so far as BCCI discharges public function, it was amenable to writ jurisdiction of the Court under Article 226 on the Constitution. However, the Bench clarified that BCCI was not necessarily a "state" within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution.

The Bench said where the apex cricket body operates in the realm of public affair and discharges a public function, it will be amenable to writ jurisdiction but its private function like contract will not be covered under the writ jurisdiction.

The Court had earlier 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 had said.

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

"Who has authorised you (BCCI) to represent India? Has Parliemant passed any law to authorise you? Drop the word 'India' and do whatever you feel like," it had told the BCCIcounsel 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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