The Delhi & District Cricket Association's (DDCA) sports committee has decided to sack former India players Atul Wassan and Nikhil Chopra from the state's senior selection panel, while removing Maninder Singh from the junior selection panel.
The sports committee included national selector Sarandeep Singh in the panel citing the general convention that national selectors are always made chairman of state selection committee, as it had been the case with Madan Lal, Kirti Azad and Chetan Chauhan to name a few.
It also named former legspinner Rakesh Shukla in the panel, but this could be in violation of the norms of the BCCI, which had set an age-cap of 60 for being eligible for the role. Shukla is currently 68.
In place of Maninder Singh, the committee named former wicketkeeper-batsman Vinay Kumar.
There could be far-reaching legal implications of this decision, as Chopra and Wassan were appointed by a panel selected by Justice Mukul Mudgal, who is the Delhi High Court-appointed observer. Those in know of the legal ramifications feel that this could be a case of contempt of court by the sports committee, which has been sidelined since Mudgal started overseeing DDCA matters.
A press release issued by the sports committee's convenor, Vinod Tihara, stated the decision was taken "in the wake of the persistent complaints being received by the DDCA management regarding the alleged commercial engagements of three selectors namely: Maninder Singh, Atul Wassan and Nikhil Chopra."
Wassan, Chopra and Maninder all have media contracts, which the sports committee claimed was a case of conflict of interest.
When Chopra's comments were sought, he said: "This is news to me. I have been appointed by a committee that was formed by Delhi High Court-appointed observer Justice Mukul Mudgal. And what conflict of interest are they talking about? These are some vested interests at work."
When Tihara was asked if this decision amounted to contempt of court or trying to overrule the High Court-appointed observer, he told PTI: "I don't think question of contempt arises as Justice Mudgal is an observer and not an administrator. As far as Shukla's age and appointment is concerned, we will check if this violates the norms set by BCCI."
Asked if Delhi coach KP Bhaskar would also be removed as he was also appointed by the panel set by Mudgal, Tihara said: "No we are not going to remove Bhaskar as it would seem like having a vindictive attitude. We heard some complaints about some alleged misbehaviour with the boys. After an internal inquiry we found out that nothing of that sort has happened. Also he does not have any case of conflict of interest."
Krishnan Bhaskar Pillai
Indian Domestic Season