On June 6, 2013, RTI activist Madhu Agrawal filed a petition demanding that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) be accountable under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. BCCI refused to respond to her, to which she moved to the Central Information Commission (CIC) for an order to BCCI to give out the information. On July 10, 2013, the CIC sent notice to BCCI but BCCI refused to imply. Soon after, the Lodha Panel was formed and its recommendations came as a mandate for BCCI and its officials.
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court removed Anurag Thakur as the President of BCCI for not complying with the SC directive for implementing the Lodha committee reforms. The apex court also removed Ajay Shirke from the post of BCCI Secretary. While all these steps have been taken to bring transparency in the system, we can’t forget RTI activists Madhu and Subhash Agrawal who laid the foundation.
Talking to InUth about SC’s verdict, Subhash Chandra Agrawal said, “It is a decision that I welcome. Until now, most of Supreme Court’s verdicts were observations. Finally, there has been a decision. Cricket is a religion in India and majority of the money that is invested in the sport is generated by the public. It is therefore, imperative that everything is transparent in front of the public. BCCI and its state affiliates must be covered under the RTI Act.”
Agrawal further added that BCCI has always had an advantage as it has no shortage of funds. “After CIC sent a notice to BCCI in 2013, they moved to the Madras High Court and got a stay order on CIC to further proceed. I don’t know how they can afford so expensive lawyers. I couldn’t go to Madras and contest the case. Now that this decision has been taken by the SC, naturally, there is a reason to be happy. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports should ensure that BCCI and its state bodies come under the RTI Act.