New Delhi, Agency. The Supreme Court held that the activities of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are commercial in nature and can be called a shop in terms of the provisions of the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act.
A bench of Justices MR Shah and PS Narasimha observed that the ESI Court and the Supreme Court did no wrong in treating BCCI as a ‘shop’ under the ESI Act. The bench said, “The court has come to the right conclusion keeping in view the systematic activities of BCCI, especially in the sale of tickets for cricket matches, providing entertainment, charging price for its services, international tours and income from IPL,” the bench said. That the BCCI is carrying out systematic economic commercial activities, hence it can be called a ‘shop’ under the provisions of the ESI Act.’
In response to these questions, the top court said whether BCCI can be called a ‘shop’ as per the notification dated September 18, 1978, and whether the provisions of the ESI Act will be applicable to BCCI or not. The Bombay High Court had held that BCCI comes within the meaning of ‘shop’ in terms of the notification dated 18 September 1978 issued by the Government of Maharashtra under the provisions of section 1(5) of the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.
The top court said that the word ‘shop’ should not be interpreted in the traditional sense as it would not serve the purpose of the ESI Act. He said that the word ‘shop’ should be taken in a wider sense to fulfill the objectives of the ESI Act. The Supreme Court said that there is no point in the BCCI saying in its affidavit that its main activity is to promote cricket and sports, and hence should not be brought under the meaning of ‘shop’ under the ESI Act.
Edited By: Sanjay Savern