The Madras High Court has reserved its order on a PIL seeking direction to authorities for initiating legal action against the BCCI for representing the country at international events allegedly without the government’s approval.
During the arguments, the bench asked when the Central government had not raised any objections against the BCCI what was the locus standi of the petitioner, Geeta Rani of New Delhi.
“It is the Central government which has to raise objection and not any others,” it said.
The counsel for the petitioner Reepak Kansal submitted that BCCI was registered as a society in Tamil Nadu under the Societies Registration Act and had always denied its status of being a state under Article 12 of the Constitution.
Even at the time of registration, no recognition or affiliation was sought by the BCCI from the government to represent India.
Presuming it to be the sole authority to govern cricket, without any sanction, the BCCI started to act as governing body of cricket as well as representative of India, the counsel submitted.
Without any sanction from the government, the BCCI derived its logo from the British Raj emblem “The order of Star of India” which was an offence under the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, he contended.
Besides, the BCCI had no legal sanctity to use the word India in its name, nor does it stand right to represent a team called India, as the name implies patronage from the Indian government.
BCCI had continuously refused to identify itself as a public authority and is also not officially recognised as a national sports federation, Kansal said.
Claiming that the players selection process carried out by the BCCI was never transparent and always been discriminatory, the petitioner contended that like any other sport, cricket should also be governed by the Union sports ministry.
Senior Counsel P R Raman for BCCI argued that the body had not violated the emblem act.