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Report No. 275

Whether BCCI should be 'State' within the meaning of Article 12?

6.6 In the case of Zee Telefilms Ltd. v. Union of India,153 (Zee Telefilms case) the issue that arose before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, was whether BCCI was 'State' within Article 12 and consequently could a writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution be maintainable against BCCI. The Court held:

It would be clear that the facts established do not cumulatively show that the Board is financially, functionally or administratively dominated by or is under the control of the Government. Thus, the little control that the Government may be said to have on the Board is not pervasive in nature. Such control is purely regulatory and nothing more.

6.7 Referring to the case of Chander Mohan Khanna v. National Council of Educational Research and Training,154 and Som Prakash Rekhi v. Union of India,155 the Court stated:

1. The Board is not created by a statute

2. No part of share capital of the Board is held by the Government.

3. Practically no financial assistance is given by the Government to meet the whole or entire expenditure of the Board.

4. The Board does enjoy a monopoly status in the field of cricket but such status is not State-conferred or State-protected.

5. There is no existence of a deep and pervasive State control. All functions of the Board are not public functions nor are they closely related to governmental functions.

6. The Board is not created by the transfer of a government-owned corporation. It is an autonomous body.

6.8 BCCI, was, therefore, held not to be 'State' under Article 12 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court sounded a note of caution in this case that the situation prevailing in the Rajasthan State Electricity case and Sukhdev Singh case, was no longer prevalent as in the meantime the socio-economic policy of the Government of India had changed, and hence there was no need to further expand the scope of 'other authorities' under Article 12 by judicial interpretation.

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