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Can betting on cricket become legal? Law Commission to advise SC

The Law Commission of India is studying relevant British laws to determine whether betting on cricket can be legalised in India, as is the case in the United Kingdom.

cricket Updated: Jan 13, 2017 17:53 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Cricket
The commission is also examining the feasibility of bringing the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) under the Right to Information Act.(AFP)

The Law Commission of India is studying relevant British laws to determine whether betting on cricket can be legalised in India, as is the case in the United Kingdom.

Sources said the matter was taken up for examination after the Supreme Court made a reference to this effect last July, while it was hearing the Justice RM Lodha committee report on cleaning up Indian cricket. A bench headed by then Chief Justice TS Thakur had said: “The recommendation made by the committee that betting should be legalised involves the enactment of a law, which is a matter that may be examined by the law commission and the government for such action as may be consider necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

Gambling is currently curbed or regulated under a bouquet of state laws, and its legalisation across the country would require a central legislation. Sources said the commission will seek responses from stakeholders and the public at large to get their views on the subject.

Read: The many challenges of legalising betting in India

“There are two aspects – first, if it should be legalised, and second, if it is, then what should be the framework of the law enacted by Parliament,” a member of the law commission said.

He said the panel was also studying British laws, and examining the possible impact of allowing betting in sports and society as a whole. “There are several important questions. For instance, will it lead to a rise in gambling and encourage betting? We also need to study its impact on cricket, and whether it will lead to match-fixing,” the member said.

The commission is also examining the feasibility of bringing the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) under the Right to Information Act. However, there is no timeframe or deadline for submitting the report, the panel member said.

The commission’s term ends in August 2018.