The Bombay High Court observed that the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) engages in commercial activities and derives profit from them, and is therefore covered by the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Act.
The high court said that BCCI is required to pay the employer’s contribution to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), an autonomous body under the Union government.
The organization provides medical care, compensation for illness, injury, etc., and several other benefits to employees in the organized sector.
In an order issued on June 24, a single bench by Judge Bharati Dangre upheld an order issued earlier this year by an ESI court in the city, which had ruled that BCCI could be classified as a “shop” under the Mumbai Shop. and Establishment law and would therefore be covered by the ESI law.
The BCCI had applied to the High Court to challenge this order.
Judge Dangre, however, said that while the BCCI was largely an administrative body, it made money from international cricket tours, the Indian Premier League, by selling the rights to broadcast cricket matches, the sponsorship, ticket sales, etc. activities were likely to be considered commercial.
“The Council is certainly involved in the entertainment and carrying out of systematic business activities and is engaged in the provision of services to the general public by engaging its employees, organizing events, promoting cricket as a source of entertainment and thereby raising funds,” the court said.
He further stated that BCCI was involved in a “systematic commercial activity for profit” and was therefore covered by the ESI law, which recognizes an insured employee’s right to medical care as his fundamental right.
“I have no hesitation in asserting that the nature of the activities carried out by the Council is commercial and therefore covered by the term ‘shop’ for the purposes of the ESI Act and the notification issued thereunder,” said the judge Dangre, while rejecting the appeal of the BCCI. .
However, the High Court suspended enforcement of its order for six weeks to allow BCCI to appeal.
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