SC upholds HC verdict on sports body officials

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The Supreme Court has endorsed aKerala High Court judgement which held various sports bodyofficails to be ''public servants'' and liable to be prosecutedunder Prevention of Corruption Act.

A bench of justices V S Sirpurkar and T S Thakur upheldthe high court''s October 26 ruling, dismissing two separateappeals by Kerala Cricket Association secretary T CMathew and president T R Balakrishnan against it.

The high court had held the duo to be public servantswhile permitting their prosecution under anti-corruption law.

The apex court dismissed the KCA officials'' appeals,noting that the sports body officials handle huge funds,allocated by the government and various apex sportsinstitutions, and perform functions akin to those of publicservants, like selectintg cricket team and controllingplayers'' activities.

"If you actually handle so much funds, can you say youare not discharging public functions"? said the apex courtbench.

The KCA officials had moved the high court challengingits October 26 ruling which allowed their prosecution underPrevention of Corruption Act for allegedly misappropriating ahuge chunk of KCA funds, which included Rs 28.42 crores,received from BCCI in 2004-08 and Rs 1.88 lakhs, receievedfrom the state government for promotion of cricket.

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