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Justice (Retd) Mudgal hopes bill against sports fraud will be passed soon

IANS  |  Kolkata 

Expressing hope that the long pending anti-bill will finally see the light of the day, retired Chief Justice of the and High on Sunday said Minister and Olympic medallist is making changes for the good which will soon reflect on various sporting disciplines.

"I hope it (the bill) comes through. Both the bills are pending. Sporting bill as well as the bill," Justice Mudgal told IANS on the sidelines of his lecture session titled "Sports and Governance: The Way Forward" at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.

The (Prevention of) Sporting Bill, drafted in the aftermath of the 2013 (IPL) spot-fixing case, stipulates jail term for officials, sportspersons and entities involved in corrupt practices in sport.

Justice Mudgal, who headed the committee which investigated allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the IPL, has been pressing the central government to enact the bill for a long time.

Asked how long will it take for the bill to be passed, Justice Mudgal said: "You should ask Parliament as well as the government.

"I am sure that the is trying his level best. He is a very good person and you know his achievements. He is also from the ... he is making every effort ... he is pro-athletes and pro-sportsmen. He has already made many changes which you will see later."

The proposed bill contains provisions for five-to-six years of jail to those, including private companies, directly or indirectly indulging in or attempting any sporting fraud.

It clearly defines 'inside information' and 'sporting fraud' and states that 'manipulation or attempt to manipulate result(s), irrespective of whether the outcome is actually altered or not', will incur a jail term.

Countries such as Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and already have laws for prevention of sporting frauds since betting is legal there.

Talking about the Supreme agreeing to modify certain recommendations of the Justice (Retd) as they may "not be a good idea in this country", Justice Mudgal said he is "certainly" disappointed with the ways things have gone way despite the SC verdict being final.

"Certainly yes. I would like to tell a little about the procedure of the Supreme If there is a judgement which is generally final, you can file a review petition against it which again is rare to succeed.

"But if review fails, you have the Curative petition which is even more difficult to succeed at. BCCI has tried both these remedies and both have gone. Now for the in the current format, to entertain BCCI and give then an opportunity of saying 'what can you obey and what you cannot obey', I don't think if it was any other field, this would have been given.

"Supposing this was a direction given to a bank, you won't ask the 'can you give this much... no'. I think the law of the land says the judgement is final particularly after review and curative petition," Justice Mudgal said.

Justice Mudgal said he does not agree with all the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee, but the law of the land cannot be tampered with.

"I don't agree with everything the has said. There are some things which needed to be corrected. But nevertheless, the judgment was final and the discipline of the law required no tampering with the SC verdict."

On his new role as of review and governance committees, Justice Mudgal said his job is to suggest reforms to the world soccer governing body and check integrity matters while recruiting people.

"We are suggesting reforms which should be carried out by The second is review committee which means every person who wants to be elected to or wants to be appointed to a post in FIFA has to go through an integrity check from us... the committee of three. These are the major things."



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First Published: Sun, January 14 2018. 21:10 IST