BCCI members against entertaining complaints from anonymous sources

  • Harit Joshi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2016 12:29 IST
At Wednesday’s AGM at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai, quite a few BCCI members were upset about the ombudsman, retired Justice AP Shah, entertaining complaints from anonymous sources. (File photo)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to make a few changes to the guidelines when the new ombudsman is appointed.

At Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai, quite a few BCCI members were upset about the ombudsman, retired Justice AP Shah, entertaining complaints from anonymous sources.

The members have urged the BCCI to make it mandatory for the person to provide his original identity while filing a conflict of interest complaint.

“In many cases it has been noticed that the ombudsman has received complaints from anonymous persons or through fake email ids, especially created only to file a complaint. Many a times, these complaints are made public and it is important to know the identity of the person filing a complaint. The issue was raised during the AGM and the BCCI office-bearers have assured to prepare fresh guidelines for the new ombudsman,” a BCCI member told Hindustan Times.

One of the suggestions to the BCCI in this regard was to base the new guidelines on the lines of filing an affidavit for a legal proceeding. “When one files an affidavit in the court, the complainant has to disclose all the details from address proof to affixing a photograph.

“We have urged the BCCI to base the procedures of filing a complaint with the BCCI on similar grounds. Approaching the ombudsman is similar to a legal approach,” said another BCCI member.

Shah’s one-year term is coming to an end in November and the BCCI has authorised its secretary Ajay Shirke and president Anurag Thakur to appoint the ethics officer.

On whether the conflict of interest cases which are under Shah’s investigation would be carried forward by the new ombudsman, Shirke said: “That decision will be communicated by the BCCI.”

However, in the interest of maintaining transparency, organisations world over take cognisance of anonymous tips and information as complaining against the powerful is a risky proposition that could lead to severe repercussions.

With there being no mechanism to ensure safety of whistleblowers in BCCI, anonymous tips were the only way to expose wrongdoings. Shutting the door on that avenue would further strengthen BCCI’s reputation as a cozy club of administrators that the Supreme Court is trying to dismantle.

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