Legislation soon to deal with malpractices in sports: Sibal

New Delhi, (IANS) The union government will soon bring stand-alone legislation to deal with malpractices in sports, Law Minister Kapil Sibal said on Saturday.

"We have decided to enact stand-alone legislation to deal with unfair practices in sports. There is no offence under Indian Penal Code (IPC) as of now for unfair practice in sports, so you cannot punish anyone," Sibal told reporters here.

Sibal said the union government had sought the opinion of Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati on the matter.

"He gave us an opinion that the union government can enact a law to check unfair practices in national and international sports. The draft of the new law will be ready in three to four days," he said.

"Though we can amend the IPC and incorporate a new offence dealing with dishonest practice in sports, it would be much better to have stand-alone legislation," he said.

Sibal said the new law will apply not only to cricket, but all kinds of sports.

"We cannot let down millions of fans out there for whom cricket is a passion. The new law will not apply to cricket alone, but all sports in which such unfair practices are used for changing the outcome of the game in a particular event," he said.

"We would like the law to be as broad as possible, to deal with all kind of unfair practices and in the new age of technology, you can use various means," he said.

The minister said the law, in its ambit, must include all such possibilities through which not only outcome of a match but the course of an entire tournament could be changed.

"We are happy that the opposition is on board, and we will soon discuss this with other parties. We are preparing the draft legislation and shall give it over to the sports ministry and take views of various stakeholders so that it is effective to deal with it," he said.

Sibal said all people involved in sports -- players, bookies and team owners -- will come under the purview of the law.

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