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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Govt plans a fixing law that will fix administrators too

Officials stressed that events like the IPL and IHL would be covered by the new law.

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi | Published: May 31, 2013 4:01:51 am

As BCCI president N Srinivasan brazens out the uproar over the arrest of his son-in-law and IPL team principal Gurunath Meiyappan,the government is working on a plan to make all sports administrators adhere to a specified code of conduct.

The law ministry’s proposed anti-fixing law includes a clause making it mandatory for all sports associations to have mandatory,government-notified codes of conduct. The code will be binding on all association office-bearers,selectors of teams,members and managers.

According to the draft Prevention of Dishonest Practices in the Sporting Events Bill,2013,which the law ministry has sent to the sports ministry for inputs,any office-bearer of an association,selector,member and manager who “contravenes the regulation specifying the code of conduct” would be “punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine”.

A top government official said the draft Bill,if passed by parliament,will ensure that conflicts of interest such as the one involving Srinivasan and the Chennai Super Kings do not arise.

“The BCCI chief or his company owning an IPL team is a clear case of conflict of interest,” the official said. “Once the proposed Bill becomes law,it would be impossible for office-bearers of sports associations to do so. But for this to happen,everybody,including parliamentarians who have to pass the Bill,will have to agree.”

Sources said the sports ministry would revert to the law ministry with its suggestions and recommendations on the draft Bill. Sports ministry officials are learnt to have held discussions with Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati on the proposed law. The definition of “dishonest practice” was among the things discussed,sources said.

Officials stressed that events like the IPL and Indian Hockey League would be covered by the new law. Foreign nationals playing in India,either for their countries or Indian teams like those of the IPL,would be covered as well.

Sources said the government was also considering a clause in the proposed Bill that puts the onus of ensuring a corruption- and taint-free performance on companies that own the teams.

The draft Bill proposes to designate a government functionary or office as the “Appropriate Authority” with the power to refer complaints under the proposed law to a court. An individual who wishes to approach a court of law with a specific complaint about dishonest practice in any sporting event,would have to give 60 days’ notice to the Authority.

Offences under the proposed law will be tried in a court of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate (First Class) or above,says the draft Bill.

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