Only three days ago, Union law minister Kapil Sibal promised a new bill to deal with dishonest practices in sport. It was meant to cover any gesture or act that could change the outcome of a match. Sibal assured that corporates, bookies, criminals as well as Indian and international players would fall under its jurisdiction.
The sports ministry was taken aback when it received the bill on Monday. Contrary to what Sibal had pledged, the law ministry has kept the scandal-ridden IPL out of its purview. Even the I-League is kept out its ambit.
The ministry dismissed the proposed law as an “eyewash”. Top officials called it a “toothless bill”.
“We’ll send our strong response by Wednesday,” a senior ministry official said. “People who have formulated the rules neither have an understanding of sports nor do they have a sound knowledge of law.”
“This clearly indicates that the BCCI is above law. It cannot just be a mistake on the part of those formulating the draft bill. Action on the law has been hastened in the wake of the recent spot-fixing cases. Keeping the IPL out of the bill shows their mala fide intent. It clearly suggests that the BCCI has managed to wield its influence here too,” he said.