Sports ministry rejects first draft bill of match fixing

New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The sports ministry Wednesday rejected the law ministry's first draft of the Dishonest Practice in Sporting Event (Prevention) Bill and has sent it back for revision with as many as 18 recommendations.

Sports ministry officials told IANS that the draft bill was done in a hurry and left out some important points. The re-draft is likely to be ready in another nine weeks.

"The draft bill had 10 points and we had sent it back with as many as 18 recommendations. It was done in a hurry with several glaring loopholes," a top sports ministry official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The draft covered all inter-state and international tournaments and in the event left out Indian Premier League (IPL) or football's I-League, which are franchise-based club tournaments.

"The law ministry should have studied the international sports laws of different countries and also the regulations made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). A great deal of work has been done by IOC and it will help the law ministry to get a concrete idea and what needs to be done," the official said.

The draft bill also proposed severe punishment for the convicted sports person, a jail term of five years, and three years for the bookies. But the sports ministry felt that it should be the other way round and the bookies should get the maximum punishment.

"We feel it should be the bookies, who should get the maximum punishment. They are the main perpetrators and not the players. There are major flaws and we have asked the law ministry to re-draft it," he said.

According to the draft bill, match fixing has been made a non-bailable offence and also covers foreign players playing in Indian sporting events.

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