Amid allegations of spot-fixing and betting in IPL T-20 cricket tournaments, a member of country's top anti-corruption body today advocated a new regulatory framework to deal with corrupt practices in sports like cricket.
Vigilance Commissioner in the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) R Srikumar said there was also a need for greater transparency, probity and corporate governance in sports administration bodies like the BCCI.
"Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) though charged with performing a public duty of regulating a popular game in the country has a monopolistic role.
It, therefore, needs to practice greater corporate governance and transparency," he told PTI.
There is a regulatory authority even in the case of share market, Srikumar said recommending a regulator for BCCI as large public interest is involved in the sport.
The definition of the word 'public servant' in the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, includes a person holding an office by virtue of which he is authorised or required to perform a public duty, he said.
An officer bearer of a registered society for cricket is also covered under sub clause XII of the PC Act, said Srikumar, a former IPS officer, suggesting the purview of PC Act and CVC's jurisdiction over the BCCI.
Any person who is an office-bearer or an employee of an educational, scientific, social, cultural or other institutions, in whatever manner established, receiving or having received any financial assistance from the Central Government or any State Government, or local or other public authority is covered under the sub clause.
When asked on the need to effectively deal with sports persons involved in corrupt practices, Srikumar felt that greater clarity on the legal structures available to deal with this was called for.
The CVC Act that facilitated inquiries and investigations at the behest of the CVC into corrupt activities of certain categories of public servants owned or controlled by Central Government, was silent on whether these inquiries covered all public servants as defined under the PC Act.
The allegations need to be enquired into by investigators with multi jurisdictional expertise (like CBI or other agencies), he said.
"For any violation of law by any person within the country, there has to be an effective mechanism for a thorough inquiry/investigation to take action against defaulters," Srikumar said.
The Vigilance Commissioner, who is also a cricket enthusiast, expressed surprise over reported comments by BCCI President N Srinivasan on the controversy involving his son-in-law.
"How can a Board official not know who is a Team owner and who is just an enthusiast? All that he has to do is to look into his own records!," he said. Srikumar added, "There is a conflict of interest. In view of the controversy, he (Srinivasan) should quit."
The recently concluded IPL tournament was mired in controversy over allegations of spot fixing and betting, leading to several arrests including that of three players of Rajasthan Royals and over a dozen private persons including BCCI chief's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.