A full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) would on Thursday start hearing the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and its 30 affiliated associations on why they should not come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as public authorities.
The CIC has informed RTI activist Madhu Agrawal, who had asked several pointed questions pertaining to government assistance to the BCCI, that the full- bench hearing would take place on Thursday and Friday here.
The full bench would comprise three members, including the Central Information Commissioner.
“You are hereby directed to attend the hearing either personally or through an authorised representative: at the appointed date and time,” the CIC has told Madhu, wife of RTI activist Subhash C. Agrawal, in a letter.
Madhu, a senior citizen, had requested for priority hearing under section 18 of RTI while seeking varied information from the BCCI and its associations.
The CIC has directed the BCCI and its affiliates to “send your written representation before the Commission” on the given dates.
The BCCI has been maintaining that it is not a public authority and therefore it doesn’t fall under the RTI Act, insisting that it doesn’t take financial assistance from the government.
However, those — including the sports ministry — who feel the BCCI, indeed, falls under the RTI Act point out that it and its affiliated associations take government assistance in the form of lease land for constructing stadiums, police help while organising matches, and exemption of customs duty on import of cricket equipment etc.