New Delhi: Sportspersons committing fraud while competing, including under-performance, can be slapped with a punishment of a maximum of five-year imprisonment, according to the proposed `Prevention of Sporting Fraud Bill`.
The Sports Ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Law has drafted a legislation for "cleansing of sports" in the country.
According to the draft bill, a person is said to commit an offence of sporting fraud if he, directly or indirectly "manipulates or tries to manipulate result, irrespective of whether the outcome is actually altered or not, or "deliberately misapplies the rules of the sport".
Besides, "removing or reducing all or part of the uncertainty normally associated with the results of a sporting event" and who "wilfully fails to perform to his true potential, unless such under performance can be attributed to strategic or tactical reason deployed in the interest of that sport or team, that will also be considered as fraud".
Disclosure of "insider information" and "failure to disclose knowledge of or attempt for sporting fraud" will also fall in the category of sports fraud.
"Maximum punishment that has been proposed is imprisonment for five years and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs or five times the economic benefits derived by the person from sporting fraud, whichever is greater," the Sports Ministry said in a release.
Whoever attempts to commit offence of sporting fraud shall be punishable with the same punishment as provided for the offence.
A person who abets the commission of sporting fraud shall be punishable with the same punishment as provided for the offence.
No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act.
The Sports Ministry has invited comments and suggestions of the public and the stakeholders. The Bill has been uploaded on the website of the ministry and comments can be made till December 3, 2013.