Punjab Cricket Association put under RTI

Chandigarh: Punjab's Information Commission has held that the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) would be considered as 'public authority' under the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Chief Information Commissioner S.S. Channy said on Wednesday that a full bench of the commission had decided that the PCA, a powerful cricketing body that controls the game in the state, was a public authority under the RTI Act. "After going through all the relevant papers put on record, the commission has unanimously held that the PCA would have struggled had it not been in possession of the land in Mohali, which has been leased on a nominal amount coupled with a substantial grant of the government to convert it into a cricket stadium," Channy said. The commission took note of the statement of I.S. Bindra, the then president of the PCA, made before the CBI saying: "Punjab Cricket Association is not a private organisation. It is a public body solely responsible for promotion, development and administration of the game of cricket, within the state of Punjab." The commission had, in August 2008, held the PCA to be a public authority under the RTI Act. The order of the commission was challenged by the PCA before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court had dismissed the petition in May 2011. However, following another petition before the same court by the PCA, the high court, in December 2013, set aside the orders of the State Information Commission.  The court referred the matter back to the commission for a fresh decision following which a full bench gave its ruling.