DDCA directors up in arms over Justice Mukul Mudgal’s panels

DDCA directors unhappy with Justice Mudgal's decision to set up panels to pick selectors for upcoming season.

Written by Sahil Malhotra | New Delhi | Updated: September 5, 2016 12:52 pm
india cricket, cricket india, delhi cricket, ddca, ddca cricket, justice mudgal, bcci, lodha panel, cricket news, cricket Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal (C) has formed two panels for men and women to pick selectors, coaches and other support staff. (Source: Express file)

Days after Justice Mukul Mudgal (Retd.) formed two panels to pick selectors, coaches and support staff for the season ahead, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) directors are up in arms over the decision. On Sunday an emergent meeting was held, which majority of the directors attended, to discuss whether Mudgal was overstepping his brief.

Justice Mudgal has formed two panels for men and women to pick selectors, coaches, managers and other support staff for the cricket season ahead. The men’s panel decided during a meeting on Friday to restrict the number of selectors for six — three for the senior team and three for the juniors. Last season, up to 25 selectors were appointed in all.

DDCA president Sneh Bansal sought legal opinion from advocate Gautam Dutta whether Justice Mudgal could appoint panels to pick selectors, and he has been advised “to move a Contempt of Court application before the Hon’ble Division Bench for the deliberate and willful disobedience and disregard for the orders passed by the Hon’ble Delhi Court.”

In the document (legal advice), accessed by The Indian Express, Dutta writes, “In my humble opinion, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court vide its orders had appointed Justice Mudgal only to “oversee, supervise” the Test match and later the T20 World Cup & IPL matches to be held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. The language of the orders exclusively reveal that Justice Mudgal’s “mandate, scope and jurisdiction” is restricted exclusively to “overseeing, supervision” of the Matches, including the forthcoming India-New Zealand practice match scheduled to be held on 15.9.2016 alone.”

A majority of directors feel that justice Mudgal instead of “overseeing” the match is now meddling with the cricketing affairs, including selection of panel who will appoint selectors.

“It is clear that actions of Justice Mukul Mudgal’s team in appointing”selection panel” vide E-mail dated 1.09.2016 is an unauthorized intrusion into the affairs of the DDCA… Justice Mudgal’s team have defiantly exceeded the scope and jurisdiction of the said mandate of the assignment thus rending the hurriedly appointed Selection Panel ignoring all principles of transparency, consensual by ignoring and suppressing the merit of opposition by the majority Directors of the Board of Directors of the DDCA, thus rendering the decision illegal and void,” Dutta writes.

During the emergent meeting ugly scenes unfolded when DDCA vice-president Chetan Chauhan objected to Dutta’s “interpretation of the order”. Chauhan was not allowed to speak as other directors present in the meeting, who were unhappy with the setting up of the panels by Mudgal outnumbered the former India opener.

Former Test cricketer Vivek Razdan was appointed was chairman the men’s panel and Anuradha Dutt will lead the women’s panel also comprising of DDCA vice-president Gange Gupta, treasurer Ravinder Manchanda and joint secretary, sports Salil Seth.