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BCCI Comes Under Employees State Insurance (ESI) Act As It Earns Profits From Commercial Activities – Bombay High Court

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The BCCI has fallen into litigation with the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) as they are contravening the ESI scheme. Both the ESIC court and the High Court have issued the verdict is favor of ESIC. Now the question comes,

  • Who is the ESIC?
  • What is the ESI ACT, and?
  • How is that the BCCI falls under the ESI Act?

Under the Employee State Insurance (ESI)Act of 1948, an integrated social system was designed for the employees under Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) to protect them in the case of sickness, disability, injuries etc. And the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is a governing body that manages the public security and health insurance funds of the Employees State Insurance (ESI).

So how and when did the BCCI came under the heat of the ESIC?

It all started in 2011when an inspector upon a visit to the BCCI office had inspected the employee records and salaries. The BCCI stand has been that they are an “autonomous non-profit” body promoting cricket and as such the Act does not apply to them.However the ESI’s view was different and accordingly in 2015 the ESI sent a demand notice to the board. The BCCI was asked a contribution towards employee insurance from May 2011 to March 2014 for a sum of Rs.5.04 Lakhs

The board took legal notice and challenged the same in the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Court, followed by the High Court thereafter. They lost in both counts.

The Times of India has quoted the Bombay High Court as stating that the ESI Act is applicable to the BCCI as,

“No hesitancy to hold the nature of activities conducted by the Board are commercial in nature and, hence, covered under the term ‘shop’ for the purpose of ESI Act”.

This means,the Bombay High Court has stated that the BCCI is equal to a ‘shop’ AS PER Bombay Shops and Establishment Act of 1948 because they are engaging in commercial activities selling goods and services and they are earning profit by selling tickets, broadcasting rights etc.

Recently, the Indian Premier League which the cash rich arm of the BCCI won the IPL media rights with a whopping valuation of INR 48,390 crore (6.20 billion), which has found its footing in big boys leagues like the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and the English Premier League. (EPL). To add to your surprise, the Indian Premier League has become the second richest league in the world after the world famous NFL with IPL media rights (2023-2027) worth $6.20 billion.

On the occasion of such a big achievement, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly called it a proud moment. He also said that IPL e-auction showed how strong the game is in our country India. Mr. Ganguly tweeted,

“The game has never been just about money..it is about talent. The IPL e-auction just showed how strong the game is in our country..the numbers should be the biggest motivation for all the young players to take their ability and Team India to the highest level,”

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