Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 1
The Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill (2013) has been put into cold storage by the BJP-led NDA government. The Bill was aimed to criminalise sporting fraud, including match-fixing.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel, while listing out his Ministry’s achievements over the last three years, informed that the government hasn’t been looking forward to introducing the proposed legislation in the Cabinet. “We are not considering this Bill. We have no plans for it as of now,” Goel said.
The Bill, which had a provision for five-year imprisonment and fine of Rs 10 lakh for committing a sporting fraud, had been looked as a game-changer to curb the malpractices of match-fixing and betting. It was in the backdrop of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal that the then Congress-led UPA government had decided to bring the Bill. Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal had been assigned the task of drafting the Bill, which was later sent to the Law Ministry for vetting in 2015. The Bill was returned to the Sports Ministry by the Law Ministry after some amendments. But since then, no progress has been made.
The Bill was to replace the “Public Gambling Act of 1867”, in which any person found involved in betting could only be fined Rs 200 or up to three months in prison.
Evasive on BCCI
Goel was also evasive on queries whether the Indian cricket board (BCCI) would become a signatory of the re-drafted National Sports Development Code (NSDC). There had been reports that the re-drafted NSDC was aimed at diluting some of the provisions (read age and tenure) of the Lodha Committee.
“I don’t want to get into this debate. It’s up to the BCCI to decide. All I can say is that the re-drafted NSDC would have strong provisions to govern the sports federations,” Goel said.
However, sports secretary Injeti Srinivas said that the BCCI would have to adhere to it once it becomes a law. “A federation that regulates any sport in the country will have to come under it. There can be no exception unless the BCCI decides to turn into a private club and stop representing the country,” Srinivas said.
No Dronacharya to Ram Rahim
Goel also made it clear that Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Dronacharya application won’t be considered as the Ministry no longer considers yoga a sport. “Yoga is a subject of AYUSH Ministry and not the Sports Ministry. We have never given any award in yoga till now,” Goel said.
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