Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur, who is also a Lok Sabha MP, has introduced three private member bills including a significant 'National Sports Ethics Commission' bill which recommends ‘10 years of jail term’ for any sportsperson indulging in match-fixing.
It is a significant step taken by Thakur considering that the BCCI has been mired by fixing scandal that rocked the 2013 Indian Premier League witnessing the arrest of three tainted cricketers including former India pacer S Sreesanth along with Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan.
"It is only fair to bring in accountability to be fair to sports lovers. As such there is no law which is there to curb match-fixing. It is absolutely mandatory to have a law that can combat the menace," Thakur said when asked as to what made him introduce the bill in Lok Sabha.
According to the bill that has been placed in the Lower House, it's objective is "to establish a national sports ethics body to ensure ethical practices in sports as well as strive towards elimination of doping practices, match fixing and fair play, fraud of age, gender and sexual harassment of women in sports."
The bill further states, "This comes as an aftermath of the recent corruption and match fixing charges that were thrown up in Indian Cricket and other sports by multiple players.
"The concerned players are currently charged under inappropriate sections of Dishonesty and Cheating under Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as Prevention of Corruption Act in the courts but the sportspersons often get easily free because these laws don't apply for sports."
The private member bill by Thakur, if passed, will not only impose a life ban but also 10 years of jail time as well as fine of five times the bribe amount in cases of match fixing.
For cases of fraud of age or gender, a jail time of 6 months as well as a fine of Rs 1 lakh will be viable. Not just sportspersons but coaches, members of sports federations who assist in such criminal activities would be punished with similar provisions.
Hence, the private member bill seeks to set up a 'National Sports Ethics Commission' consisting of judges as well as eminent sports personalities. The commission would conduct trials of such cases, frame rules and bye-laws of practices along with help of sports associations.
The other private member bill is seeking amendment of constitution where he has sought Sports to be taken from the State list to Concurrent list to encourage co-ordinated and more focused approach.