Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the centre’s response to a PIL seeking a direction for the sports ministry to take over the Indian Premier League (IPL) by separating it from the Indian cricket board.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Delhi Police to file their replies through affidavits by Oct 30.
The court’s direction came on a PIL filed by an NGO, Association for Social and Humanitarian Affairs, seeking direction for the ministry of taking control over the IPL by separating it from the BCCI in view of irregularities including spot-fixing in the cricket tournament.
The plea also sought the appointment of a judicial committee comprising retired judges, sports personalities and academicians to suggest stringent laws and by-laws in this regard.
The IPL spot-fixing scandal has led to a complete loss of faith in the management of the BCCI over the IPL, the plea said. The PIL further added that cricket was being exploited by the mafia to fund terrorists activities, damaging the game.
It alleged that cricket was being “misused, abused and is full of lacunae, illegalities”, affecting national pride and hurting the sentiments of people.
The NGO said: “The IPL’s model seems to be designed specifically to suit the requirements of the mafia to quickly and efficiently churn huge sums of money using the routes of hawala.”
“The strategic time out of two to three minutes while the game is being played is misused as being the only opportunity for interactions between the players and the bookies to influence the result of the match and session and thereby cheat the nation,” the petition said.
The Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court had earlier turned down a PIL seeking a ban on the IPL tournament.
On May 16, Delhi Police arrested three players in a post-midnight operation in Mumbai for spot-fixing in IPL matches for payments of up to Rs.60 lakh for giving away a pre-determined number of runs in an over.