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RM Lodha Committee recommends legalising betting

Justice RM Lodha Committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India to look into the functionality of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) submitted it’s report today recommending legalisation of betting, among other reforms according to The Hindu.

The committee recommended multiple reforms in order to regularize the sport in India. Lodha was quoted as commenting in a press conference, “our year-long effort was to remove the ailing parts, revitalise the body so that it could run a marathon for the betterment of the game. Our job was to restore the pristine glory of the game of which 1.28 billion of the country is passionate for.”

Observing that betting is a multi million dollar industry all over the world, the committee recommended the government to enact laws to regularise it, including disallowing players, team and match officials and cricket administrators to participate in betting. It also asked the government to restrict the betting to licensed betting houses and take steps to ensure that players or officials do not participate in the same.

The committee also rooted for a nine-member apex council to replace the existing 14 member BCCI working committee and asked that five of the nine office-bearers should not be either government servant or minister and no office bearer to hold position for two consecutive years.

To ensure equitable voting pattern, the committee suggested ‘one state one vote scheme’ wherein cricket associations representing states would have one vote each.

The committee also recommended position of CEO to be introduced under which the person would take responsibility of day to day non-cricket working of the BCCI

The committee floated the idea of ‘cricket player’s association’ to be funded and managed by the BCCI under which all agents shall be registered.

Apart from these, the recommendations included introduction of ‘ethics officer’ who would be a retired high court judge, an ‘ombudsman’ who would be a retired Supreme Court judge as well as an ‘electoral officer’ to be nominated two weeks prior to elections.

In another report, the committee gave a clean chit to former IPL COO Sundar Raman on allegations of his involvement in the 2013 IPL betting and said that his omission to inform the officials of betting activities didn’t seem to be motivated with any personal interest, the news reported.

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