New Delhi:In a ruling that is likely to have widespread repercussions for cricket administration in India, the Supreme Court has upheld a Kerala High Court decision that the officials of the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) are public servants. The court's decision means that officials who are part of a private body, but perform what can be considered a public function, can now be tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which applies only to public servants. It is the first time the courts have taken such a view of sports administrators in India.
A two-justice bench comprising Justice VS Sirpurkar and TS Thakur dismissed an appeal filed by the KCA president, TR Balakrishanan, and secretary, TC Matthew, who had challenged the High Court's decision allowing them to be prosecuted under the act. The judges first heard the case on January 3, before adjourning it for three weeks as the association wanted more time to file additional documents. The case was finally dismissed yesterday, with the judges calling the High Court's decision a 'beautifully crafted judgement'.