Having expressed reservation over the draft of the proposed anti-fixing bill prepared by the law ministry, the sports ministry will now set-up its own committee to draw a fresh draft.
Former Punjab and Haryana high court Chief Justice, Mukul Mudgal, will head the panel to draft the bill which will define dishonesty in sporting activities and provide for stringent punishment to those found guilty, HT has learnt. The need for a central law has gained urgency in the wake of the latest scandal in the Twenty20 league.
However, senior lawyer and former additional solicitor general, Vivek Tankha, has in a letter to sports minister Jitendra Singh said the centre does not have the power to make the law. "According to the Constitution, sports is a state subject and all laws, including offences, have been entrusted to be enacted by state legislatures," he wrote.
A senior sports ministry official said: "The Justice Mudgal panel will also examine whether the new law would infringe on the rights of the states and suggest a via-media through which the central government can draft the proposed legislation."
Ministry sources said once the panel submits its suggestions the sports ministry will submit a formal draft to the law ministry for examining its legal and constitutional validity. It hopes to seek the cabinet nod by the first week of August.
Attorney General, GE Vahanvati, however, had last month told the government that the centre had the power to make a standalone law on the subject. "Problems like match fixing/spot fixing transcend provincial borders. These are serious issues of national importance and the power to control, regulate and curb these cannot be said to be under the states lists," he’d said.