Sports administration overall, and not just cricket, stands to benefit from the National Sports Development Bill, according to the draft recommendations of the Working Group appointed for the purpose.
Working Group chairman Justice Mukul Mudgal told The Hindu, “I hope the Government lists the committee’s recommendations. The BCCI is covered only for RTI and ethical practices because they don’t take grants from the Government. On the basis of that there are two kinds of recommendations — accreditations and registrations. Accreditation means you get grants and funds from the government. Registration is only because you are representing India. Beyond that other things don’t apply to them.”
Justice Mudgal was optimistic of the recommendations being accepted. “It depends on what view the Parliament takes first and what view the Government and the Cabinet take. We can make only humble suggestions. We don’t claim it’s a perfect Act. If a good suggestion is received we will certainly incorporate that.”
Would things become more transparent, accountable and honest? “Absolutely! Keep cricket aside at the moment. The act was never aimed at just the BCCI. Importantly, we are keen to emphasise that we are not so concerned about the BCCI at all. We are concerned about so many other associations. Let us face it, the BCCI is still one of the better run units with all its faults. There is some development work. Of course it can improve but at least there is some thing. Other organisations are really in need.”
Justice Mudgal said steps had been taken to prevent government interference in the functioning of the associations. “We have taken special care to ensure that there is no government interference at all. We have scrupulously followed IOC (International Olympic Committee) guidelines and in any case IOC is going to look into the Act. The government is going to consult them. Let’s hope it comes into force.”
Expecting the recommendations to become an Act, Justice Mudgal said, “Our concern is to enact the Act. The government appears to be fairly concerned about it. The one very significant thing is we have put in a section that anyone who has been charge-sheeted cannot contest any election. We have tried to put sports on a higher pedestal. That I think is a big lead frankly. If accepted, it will ensure sports administration will be clean. We want sports officers to be clean and above all. I believe this is the aim.”