A stinging ‘status report’ filed by former judge Mukul Mudgal on the India-New Zealand One-day International (ODI) held in Delhi on October 20 has revealed the ugly power struggle within the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
The 86-page report spotlights the deep-rooted mistrust within DDCA officials. In an email to Mudgal, DDCA vice-president Chetan Chauhan has charged fellow vice-president CK Khanna and president SP Bansal of “nefarious and corrupt practices” through which they wanted to “take over the reins of the association”.
The Delhi High Court had appointed Mudgal to oversee the matches played at the Kotla since December 2015 after the some complicated issues, including one of illegal construction inside the stadium, failed to resolve. Mudgal immediately plugged all the inappropriate practices that were going on at the DDCA till then, chiefly with regard to the tender processes and distribution of complimentary match tickets. His cleanup angered some officials who were holding sway before Mudgal’s arrival and began stonewalling his measures.
On September 27, the court also asked the reluctant Mudgal to supervise the India-New Zealand match at the Kotla. Chauhan, a former India opening partner of Sunil Gavaskar, wrote soon afterthe court appointed Mudgal to oversee the ODI but the DDCA’s functioning had come to a virtual standstill.
“Under your supervision DDCA organised 18 matches, national and IPL, and earned nearly Rs 7 crore as profit. All these matches were organised without receiving subvention money from the Board [BCCI]. Vice-president CK Khanna did not get bagful of passes and accreditation cards in these matches, so he switched sides and joined the tainted president SP Bansal,” Chauhan wrote in his September 29 email and annexed to the report.
“They managed majority [in DDCA executive committee] and thought both the sides would grasp the passes and authority to run the DDCA. Your taking over has ruined their plans, and [they have] now planned nefarious and corrupt practices to take over the reins of the association,” narrated Chauhan, one of the three DDCA vice-presidents.
Chauhan, appointed ‘Head of the Event’ for the ODI by Mudgal, sounds frustrated in his letter. “We have to defeat these people. The funds which are saved to organise the ODI against New Zealand, I fear, will be usurped by these people,” he wrote without mincing words.
In the event, the ODI was conducted in a smooth manner, thanks to a team of young lawyers who supervised on behalf of Mudgal in association with Chauhan and his team comprising some likeminded officials. A record amount was earned from ticket sales (Rs 3.09 crore) and the DDCA is now set to make a profit of over Rs 5 crore.
Before a reluctant Mudgal could take charge of the DDCA for the match, following three court orders, Bansal on September 29 convened an emergent executive committee meeting at which a “new committee” comprising four directors was constituted that could act as authorised signatories.
Referring to this meeting, ostensibly convened to discuss the Lodha Committee report, Chauhan further wrote in his email: “In its garb, illegal resolutions have been passed. Already contempt of court proceedings are pending against Bansal. To defy this, the meeting was organised”.
Turning to Mudgal, Chauhan said: “I request [you] to take immediate action against these erring officials. We cannot allow fraud steers (sic) and swindlers to take over the association. Please help and guide us to [defeat] these evil people.”
In the four-member “new committee”, three directors belonged to the Bansal group and one from the other side. For a bill/in-voice to pass, at least two signatures were now required. It was a smart move to stifle due payments. As feared, many payments could not be made, both for the domestic tournaments organised by the BCCI as well as the India-New Zealand ODI.
In the report submitted to the court, Mudgal, a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has complained that some DDCA administrators didn’t comply with his instructions.
Mudgal’s emails, attached to the report, reveal that he repeatedly reminded all those defying him to fall in line and sign the bills/vouchers. He has prayed to the court to order the DDCA to make payments to the vendors, selectors, coaches, and team managers etc. immediately.
Mudgal apparently had a torrid time as some DDCA officials, including sports working committee convenor Vinod Tihara, whom he has named in his report, used unparliamentarily language or defied his instructions.
Mudgal, in his report, has mentioned transgressions made by Tihara who, he said, commented “adversely upon my conduct and that of IP Singh, a reputed Former Deputy CAG of India, by using inappropriate and intemperate language”. He has annexed the contentious emails written by Tihara on October 20 and 23 to his report.
Mudgal has charged some DDCA officials for making a “deliberate and wilful attempt to scuttle the domestic cricket season” as bills and invoices of officials and vendors, involved in conducting matches, were pending.
Mudgal has requested the court to direct DDCA that all directions issued by him since August 22 be fully complied with, and the agreements entered into by the association for the India-New Zealand match be fully honoured and payment made promptly.
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