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BCCI liable to pay employees contribution under ESI Act: Bombay High Court

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was directed by the Bombay High Court to pay employer contributions to the ESI Corporation, which is responsible for the welfare of all companies’ employees through Justice  Bharati Dangre in the case of BCCI vs Regional Director, ESI Corporation (FIRST APPEAL ST NO.25980 OF 2021 WITH INTERIM APPLICATION NO. 1026 OF 2022 IN FIRST APPEAL ST NO. 25980 OF 2021)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The ESI Court in Mumbai had ruled that the board could be classified as a “shop” under the Mumbai Shop and Establishment Act and would, thus, be protected by Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. The BCCI had appealed this ruling, which was being heard by the court.

This choice was made after an unexpected inspection by an insurance inspector in April or May 2011 during which the wages of the staff members present at the board office were inspected.

Then, on July 1, 2014, a notice in Proforma C-18 was received, claiming a contribution of 5,04,075 as Employees State Insurance Contribution for the period starting in May 2007 and ending in March 2014.

The BCCI,  argued that because it is the country’s cricket governing body and has as its main goals the administration, promotion, and control of the game nationwide including women’s cricket as well as the encouragement of the formation of State, regional, and other cricket associations and thus, it is not subject to the ESI Act. As a result, it is neither protected by the Mumbai Shop and Establishment Act or registered as a “shop.”

JUDGEMENT:

The Indian Premier League, which the Court claimed to be the most-watched cricket league in the world, was one of the commercial endeavors carried out by the BCCI, as indicated by single-judge Justice Bharati Dangre in her order.

Because of this, even though the BCCI’s Memorandum of Association states that all of the organization’s income, assets, and properties must be used to advance its goals, including financially and through other means, the BCCI would be considered a “shop” under the terms of the Mumbai Shop and Establishment Act because it engages in a variety of commercial activities.

As a result, the Court decided that it will fall under the ESI Act’s purview.

JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY REETI SHETTY

Click here to view judgement

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