Justice Mudgal

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Justice Mudgal's report is damning. But this is DDCA. Nothing will change

Jaideep Ghosh @jd0893

The report

  • Justice Mudgal has filed a report on the India-South Africa Test in Delhi and how the DDCA works
  • It exposes a lot of lacunae and deficiencies, but most of that was already well known

The helplessness

  • The Delhi High Court can take action against financial irregularities
  • But can it force DDCA office-bearers to be friendlier and more cooperative?

More in the story

  • Justice Mudgal's observations on the various kinds of rot that afflict the DDCA
  • How 'ad-hocism' describes the DDCA perfectly

Justice Mukul Mudgal's report on the India-South Africa Test and the way that the Delhi & District Cricket Association works corroborates what we already knew.

The report, 27 pages long, has pointed fingers at a lot of lacunae and deficiencies in the manner in which the DDCA works.

Justice Mudgal also mentions figures and facts about how contracts were created or completed in DDCA, while there were bills worth crores lying pending from previous financial years.

Also read - DDCA is incidental. This is Modi vs Kejriwal, a fight to the finish

No records were found of who were awarded these contracts, or how.

Unfortunately, the more you read into the report, the more familiar it all sounds. This is DDCA, the way it was for decades.

No real work

Justice Mudgal highlights how the various committees and sub-committees don't do any real work whatsoever, and how most of the office-bearers are rather invisible when it comes to any real work.

He has also highlighted the lack of cooperation within the association, as well as the ad-hocism.

This phrase, ad-hocism, possibly describes DDCA the best.

At the Ferozeshah Kotla, everything is need-based. If you want a match to be played, tell us what you need - a green outfield, clean seats, working bathrooms and Wi-Fi?

Will be done. "No problem."

How? "Don't worry sir," some smirking official will say. "Everything is under control."

This place works on a time-table that is largely based on the panic calendar. The alarm will ring only when there is just enough time or space left for panic.

The report, 27 pages long, points fingers at the lacunae and deficiencies in how the DDCA works

Buildings come up at the last minute, irrespective of how much they cost. Almost always, the billing and expenditure are on two different planets.

"Records relating to the contracts/work orders for the earlier matches are not available," the report states. "This results in a higher number of vendors not bidding, and others quoting higher rates to cover the risk of huge delays in getting payments."

Perfectly put.

Make haste slowly

There is a phrase in Latin - Festina lente. In English, it translates into something akin to 'make haste slowly'.

At DDCA, haste is a prerequisite to get any work done, while the follow-up is, predictably, sloth.

Teams are formed practically in the last week before the actual event, as was the case with the India-South Africa Test. Justice Mudgal laments the total lack of coordination or communication among the committees.

Also read: The miracle that is the DDCA. Or why Kejriwal is going after Jaitley

Lack of cooperation is also a very old DDCA charm. If you're the Finance Secretary, you won't get along with the auditors. If you are the Organisation Secretary, you'll be at odds with the vendors of all shapes and sizes.If you are heading Accounts, you will largely be invisible once the event is over and the bills have to be paid.

And all three of these won't get along with one another. Perfect.

Complimentary tickets

Justice Mudgal observes, with a little unusual cynicism, that the only committee working at double speed was the 'Ticket Complimentary Committee'.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the truth. Nothing works better than freeloading at the Kotla.

'Pass' is the codeword for the heavenly gates to open. You have all concerned - from police to municipal agencies, ministers of the state and Central governments to senior journalists trying to oblige their owners - trying to get hold of these golden leaves, which would promote their cause with the higher-ups.

Works great for the DDCA too. Some tactically-placed passes can ensure that municipal and other permissions are signed smoothly, police and security arranged, and all concerned issues are swept under the carpet with ease.

At DDCA, haste is a prerequisite to get any work done, while the follow-up is, predictably, sloth

Justice Mudgal also marvels at the "clamour for ascending the dais during felicitation and prize distribution due to visibility and photo opportunity".

That possibly is the only time when the DDCA office-bearers stand shoulder to shoulder.

Also read: DDCA muck: the questions facing the Subramaniam panel and their answers

Be more cooperative?

While the former judge has made some pungent and telling observations in the report laid before the Delhi High Court bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, what action is implemented or demanded remains to be seen.

It would seem that there should definitely be some action in terms of the contracts, tenders and financial irregularities. Apart from that, one doubts if there is any court in the world that can ask anyone to become efficient or friendly and cooperative.

The DDCA somehow, one feels, may emerge from this too, buoyed by the irresistible market forces and political influence. If it does, it won't be any fault of Justice Mukul Mudgal - he has done a pretty remarkable job.

Jaideep Ghosh @jd0893