A public suit was filed on Tuesday before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court asking how the Indian cricket board could nominate players for government awards despite not being one of the National Sports Federations (NSFs) recognised by the sports ministry.
Indian Police Service officer Amitabh Thakur and his social activist wife Nutan filed the suit.
"For the year 2011, the department granted recognition to 43 NSFs. The game of cricket is not in this list and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is not among one of these recognized NSFs," Thakur told IANS.
He said the BCCI is a private autonomous body having no affiliation with the government and that it has never applied for being recognized as a NSF.
The suit further alleges that even then the "BCCI is using all the privileges and benefits of being the de-facto NSF for cricket, it sends nominations for the various Government sports awards like the Dronacharya Award, Arjun Award, etc and that under Government Rule only NSFs can make and later scrutinise such nominations."
The petitioners also alleged that by using the word India in its name, the BCCI was showing that it enjoys the patronage of the government. Thakur said this was "prima facie against section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950."
Rule 9 of the Rules and Regulations of BCCI says that it has the power to frame cricketing rules for the entire nation despite having no such legal authority or legal recognition.
BCCI also refuses to come under the purview of the RTI Act while most other NSFs are in its purview.
"BCCI is enjoying privileges and breaking laws while strongly resisting any accountability and responsibility towards the Government or the People. This makes it look like being above law of the land," Thakur said.
The Lucknow couple requested the High Court that either the sports ministry asks BCCI to become a NSF and becomes accountable or they strip the BCCI of any de facto recognition and appoint some other cricket association as NSF as per the prevailing rules. The case is scheduled to come up for hearing Wednesday.