BCCI response on Sreesanth’s plea : SC

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from BCCI on controversial cricketer S Sreesanth’s plea challenging the life ban imposed on him by the apex cricket body.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India and two office bearers of its Committee of Administrators (CoA) to file their responses within four weeks.

The court, however, refused to grant any interim relief sought by senior advocate Salman Khurshid, representing the cricketer, that he may be allowed to play.

Sreesanth, who had been absolved in the IPL spot-fixing case, was successful when he filed a plea before the single judge bench of the Kerala High Court challenging the life ban imposed on him by BCCI.

However, the division bench of the high court had set aside the single judge bench and upheld the ban.

The cricketer has now challenged the high court verdict in the apex court.

HPCA row: Himachal writes to BCCI

Ahead of a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) meeting, the Himachal Pradesh government Wednesday clarified that the state cricket body, registered as a cooperative society, is subject to proceedings for alleged irregularities.

State registrar of cooperative societies R.D. Nazeem, in a missive to the BCCI, said the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) is registered under the Societies Act and subject to proceedings under its Section 41 over alleged irregularities.

Official sources said the letter was sent ahead of the BCCI meeting scheduled in Mumbai Sep 29.

The registrar of cooperative societies issued a show-cause notice to the HPCA Sep 7 over alleged irregularities in registering the sports body.

It has restrained the HPCA governing body from passing any order or resolution, or making any expenditure or investment or banking transaction or performing any other act concerning the affairs of HPCA without the approval of the additional deputy commissioner of Kangra district.

“The purpose of sending this communication is to point out the true facts about the state of affairs with regard to the HPCA, as per the facts gathered by the registrar and the media reports that the HPCA is claiming to be duly authorised body to attend the meeting of BCCI on Sep 29,” said the letter signed by Nazeem.

He further said: “There is substantial interest of the state government in proper functioning of the HPCA as the association has been given public largesse in the form of land and other facilities, being a registered society under the act, constituted for the purpose of development of cricket in most transparent manner”.
Interestingly, HPCA president Anurag Thakur told reporters in Dharamsala that the HPCA is not covered by the societies act.

In a setback to HPCA, the state high court Sep 19 directed Thakur to appear before the registrar of societies in Shimla.

Dismissing a petition filed by the HPCA and Thakur for quashing a notice issued to the cricket body by the registrar of cooperative societies, a division bench of Chief Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Kuldip Singh directed the petitioners to appear before the state registrar of cooperative societies Sep 30.

Thakur is also a joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The court asked them “to submit objections and preliminary objections, which shall be decided by the registrar of societies”.

The HPCA had challenged the notice, saying it was converted to a not-for-profit company Oct 1, 2012, and hence it was not a registered society and the registrar of societies could not exercise any jurisdiction over it.

The state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau last month filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA over alleged wrong-doings in allotment of land to the sports body for constructing a residential complex for the players near its stadium in Dharamsala.

The land was allotted when the BJP government, headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, was in power in the state. Thakur is Dhumal`s son.

(Source: IANS)

HC seeks centre’s response on IPL takeover plea

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.

(Source: IANS)

CIC adjourns BCCI hearing

The Central Information Commission today adjourned a crucial hearing on declaring the Indian cricket board as public authority under RTI Act after the sports body produced a stay from the Madras High Court.

The Commission had constituted a Full Bench to hear the matter and issued notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all its member units to bring along with them details of land, buildings, stadiums allotted by state government among others.

The Board was also asked to produce Income Tax exemptions received by it.

The hearing was scheduled to start today at 4 PM but BCCI produced the stay granted by Madras High Court after which the transparency panel decided to adjourn the matter till stay is vacated or an appropriate order is received from higher bench of the High Court or Supreme Court.

“Matter of bringing BCCI under purview of RTI Act is of utmost national importance when BCCI conducts cricket matches with teams controlled by it named as ‘Indian team’ getting all types of recognition and facilities from Union and state governments,” RTI applicant Madhu Agrawal had pleaded before the Commission.

(Source: IANS)

Big B, Priyanka issued notice for obscenity during IPL inaugural

Top B-town actors alongwith top officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were issued notice by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday for participating in an alleged obscene stage performance at the inaugural of Indian Premier League (IPL)-V in Chennai on April 3, seeking registration of a criminal case against them .

 Justice A. Selvam passed the order in the petition filed by a Madurai lawyer K. Jebakumar (32), through his counsel W. Peter Ramesh Kumar, and adjourned the hearing to July 31. The people to whom notices had been ordered included BCCI president N. Srinivasan, IPL governing council chairman Rajiv Shukla, American pop singer Katy Perry, Australian cricketer Douglas Erwin Bollinger and actress Priyanka Chopra, Amitabh Bachchan.

 The lawyer filed a similar petition immediately after the inaugural function and it was disposed of by Mr. Justice Selvam on April 20 with a direction to the Director-General of Police to take appropriate action. Claiming that the court direction was not implemented, he filed the present petition, seeking a positive direction to the police to register a case on the basis of a complaint lodged by him.

 According to the petitioner, the police were turning a blind eye to “cultural vandalism in the name of western celebrative practices” during occasions such as the IPL inaugural, though the High Court on many occasions disapproved of the practice of organising even dance dramas during village temple festivals on the ground of obscenity.

 He alleged the performance on the YMCA grounds in Teynampet on the day of the IPL inaugural would attract the provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986, Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1956 and other such legislation. “The live display on stage was uncensored, indecent, denigrating men and women, obscene and lascivious and appealing to prurient interest,” he added.

Government mulling new law to curb doping menace: Maken

India’s Sports Minister Ajay Maken said Monday that the government was planning to table a new law in the monsoon session of the Parliament to curb the doping menace.

Maken said the government has taken serious note of eight athletes flunking dope tests recently and wants all the sports federation to adhere to World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) norms.

‘We are going to the cabinet in this regard and wish to bring a specific law on doping in the Monsoon Session of parliament,’ said Maken on the sidelines of the World Population Day function at Vigyan Bhavan.

‘We also want that the WADA norms be applicable to all sports. In case the norms or international sports bodies are different from those of WADA, or are in conflict, then the norms of international sports bodies would be applicable,’ he said.

When pointed out that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not adhere to WADA norms, Maken said: ‘I am not talking about any one sport. This will be made applicable to all sports.’

‘Mostly, the norms of various international sports bodies are in consonance with those of WADA. We expect that all such sports bodies adhere to WADA norms. But in case of a conflict, the norms of international bodies would apply.’

Maken also said that he has asked the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) to conduct frequent raids at all the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centres.

‘Whatever it is, now we have asked NIS, SAI and NADA to be more vigilant. I have asked NADA to carry on more surprise checks, increase the frequency and change the dope officers and I am hopeful of positive results.’

‘We have already started conducting raids. Surprise checks were carried out on Saturday at NIS in Patiala and such raids are being conducted at Bangalore today. Such raids will be carried out more frequently and wherever dope material is found entering the premises, strict action will be taken,’ Maken said.

‘Already, strict action has been taken against seven officials and Justice Mukul Mudgal has been appointed to carry out a thorough probe. Strict action would taken. We will spare no one,’ he said.

PETA’s ‘open offer’ to model who wants to bare all

The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Friday made an ‘open offer’ to model Poonam Pandey – who has expressed her intention to bare all if India wins the cricket World Cup – to use her skin show for the benefit of animals.

In an open letter, PETA India’s chief Poorva Joshipura has said that though Poonam has said she is comfortable in her own skin, it is no fun for animals who are skinned to make cricket balls.

“I wonder if you would consider using your skin to save animals’ skin and make cricket fun for everyone, animals included, by starring in the buff in an ad for PETA to urge the International Cricket Council (ICC) to switch to synthetic balls?” Joshipura urged.

She said animals are mercilessly slaughtered for their skin, endure extreme crowding and deprivation, castration, branding, tail-docking and dehorning without any pain relief and cruel transport before being killed.

In India, where much of the world’s leather comes from, cattle are marched for days to slaughter without food or water. Those who collapse from exhaustion have their eyes smeared with chilli peppers and tobacco and their tails broken in an effort to keep them moving.

At some abattoirs, animals are often skinned and dismembered while they are still conscious, she pointed out.

Besides, there are other hazards – like turning animal skins into leather requires massive amounts of toxic chemicals, and the runoff from leather tanneries poisons rivers and streams.

Joshipura, quoting a report by the Central Pollution Control Board, said Vellore in Tamil Nadu – with about 6,000 tanneries – is alarmingly polluted.

Moreover, the tannery workers are exposed to chemicals which have been linked to cancer, respiratory infections and other illnesses. Studies of leather-tannery workers in Sweden and Italy found cancer risks 20-50 percent above expected.

Synthetic balls are not only kinder to animals but also safer for the environment. With the technology available today, they can be made durable, water resistant, and customised to meet players’ needs.

“Won’t you consider stripping for a good cause and help us call on the International Cricket Council to show that cricket is truly a gentleman’s sport by choosing synthetic balls over leather ones? Your involvement would both turn heads and win hearts to the cause of animal protection,” Joshipura said in her invite to Poonam.

Meanwhile, speaking to a local TV channel, Poonam said she would seek permission from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Mumbai Police before her ‘bare all’ act.

“I have no intention of distracting the Indian team members. It will be a legal act and it’s my own idea of celebrating India’s victory in the ICC World Cup,” she claimed, adding that the venue for the act would be announced later.