Government to go in for a Stand-Alone Central Legislation to Curb any Dishonest Activity in Sports

The Government is in the process of framing a Stand-alone Central legislation to check any activity of dishonest practice, match fixing/ spot fixing in sporting events. Announcing this while addressing the Media here today, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Law & Justice, said that this process has been initiated as the Attorney General for India (A.G.) has opined that, ¦¦. dishonest practices like match fixing / spot fixing are so abhorrent to the concept of sport, that they cannot fall within the concept of ˜sports™ occurring in Entry 33 and as explained by the Supreme Court in the Cricket Association of Bengal case. The power to regulate these activities cannot flow from the term ˜sports™ in Entry 33. Further, the A.G., Shri Goolam Vahanvati, has also opined that, As far as Entry 34 of List II is concerned, the same reads ˜betting and gambling™. In my opinion, dishonest practices like match fixing / spot fixing do not come within the purview of the terms ˜ betting and gambling™. Betting and gambling relate to wagering on the result of a sporting event or some events within a sporting event. Depending on whether such wagering is predominantly skill based or luck based, it is termed as betting or gambling respectively. On the other hand, the provisions with regard to control of malpractices would apply irrespective of whether or not betting or gambling is legal. In fact, corruption in sports can exist even if there is no betting or gambling involved. This clearly shows that Entry 34 of List II does not come in the way of a comprehensive legislation on the subject.

Shri Kapil Sibal said that the A.G. has also expressed the opinion that instead of going in for the amendments in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) it would be much better to have a Stand-alone legislation. The Law & Justice Minister said that the basic draft of the proposed legislation will be complete in next few days after which it will be sent to the Sports Ministry for further action and discussion with all the stakeholders. Shri Sibal said that Shri Rajiv Shukla and Shri Arun Jaitley have also expressed the urgent necessity and support for such a Central legislation and he hoped that the legislation will get the support of the Opposition in the Parliament, whenever it is tabled.

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