This article mainly revolves around the status of sports law in Hardik Pandya controversy. It is interesting to see that how a cup of coffee can land you in trouble. Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul after making comments on a TV show, “Koffee with Karan” which were deemed to be “sexist” and “misogynistic” first faced backlash on online platform then the legal implications under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Constitution.
What is the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Constitution?
In the case of Board of Control for Cricket and Ors. Versus Cricket Association of Bihar & Ors. Some reforms were suggested to the BCCI. In compliance with the suggested reforms by the Justice Lodha Committee BCCI registered its new constitution under the Tamil Nadu Societies registration act, 1975. The BCCI Constitution takes care of the different laws relating to the game and players so the game is played with appropriate intent on the field just as off the field. As the game has seen different embarrassments and spot-fixing occurrences in the past including different cricket geniuses it was a need of great importance to build up specific laws to govern the game. Under memorandum of Association, the constitution provides for promotion and development of the game of cricket.
Indeed this constitution has come into picture when as of late on a syndicated program KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya from the Indian Cricket Team to be were seen making strong remarks on the national TV.
Legal implication saga on Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul:
BCCI governs the conduct of players and all BCCI personnel on and off the field the “Code of Conduct” adopted by the BCCI is continuing effort to maintain the public image, popularity and integrity of the game and if any BCCI member acts against aforementioned Code of conduct then disciplinary action can be taken against such person. The disciplinary action which Code of Conduct talks about is taken under rule 41 of the BCCI constitution.
In the light of mentioned sports law, what actually happened that lead to legal consequences on both of the players is as following:
Show cause notice: under section 41(1) (b) if any member or administrator of BCCI commits any act which can be against the interest or reputation of BCCI or the game of cricket or neglect to comply with the rules and regulation of BCCI then the BCCI shall issue a show cause notice for explanation of the same. So, after making the comments on the TV show, a showcase notice was served by the BCCI on both of the players.
After show cause notice: After giving 7 days’ time to both of the players to give reason as to why they should not be proceeded against misconduct and indiscipline; BCCI banned both players for two matches for their misconduct as the reasons given by both of the players were not found justifiable by the BCCI.
The matter falls under the Jurisdiction of the BCCI’s Constitution and under rule 17 and 18 of the Constitution either the Apex Council can be called or an ombudsman to intervene in these kinds of matters. Under rule 1(w) of BCCI’s constitution an “Ombudsman” is the grievance Redressal authority set up under rule 40 of the constitution. Rule 41 of the constitution says that “any disputes between or among the BCCI, its members, IPL franchisees, Zones and the Cricket players’ association shall be automatically referred to the Ombudsman and rule 41(3) makes the decision of the Ombudsman final and binding.
Now, as per the laws of the BCCI the matter will be adjudicated through an Ombudsman but since currently, the BCCI does not have one, it will appoint one as per the guidelines mentioned under the rule 40(1) according to which an ombudsman can only be a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a retired Chief justice of a high court. Thus, now the matter waits for further notice as to what will be the repercussions of the actions of the two cricketers.
-  https://www.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2013/24114/24114_2013_Judgement_09-Aug-2018.pdf. (Accessed on 09/01/2019)
-  http://www.bcci.tv/about/2019/bcci-constitution (Accessed on 09/01/2019)
-  http://www.hpcricket.org/cricketrules/Appx.%206%20Code%20of%20Conduc%20-%202012%20(1).pdf. (Accessed on 09/01/2019)