Why contempt proceedings be not initiated against DDCA president: Delhi HC

Delhi High Court on Monday asked a top official of DDCA and its advocate why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for making comments in a letter accusing Justice Mukul Mudgal of “deliberately and wilfully disobeying” judicial orders appointing him as an observer to oversee the functioning of the cricketing body.

The High Court was aghast as DDCA President S P Bansal and advocate Gautam Dutta, who has given legal opinion, were contemplating moving a contempt petition against Mudgal, retired Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, for allegedly breaching its order by overseeing the administration of the DDCA.

Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Deepa Sharma took note of the submissions of Justice Mudgal’s counsel that Bansal and Dutta have deliberately interpreted wrongly the interim orders relating to the former judge to show that he has only been asked to oversee the holding of matches at Ferozshah Kotla and was never assigned to interfere into other affairs of DDCA.

“Prima facie it amounts to contempt of court’s order. It is aimed at obstructing the court’s proceedings. Notice is issued to advocate Gautam Dutta and S P Bansal for their replies on as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them for interpreting the court’s order,” the bench said.

The court also observed that it amounted to intimidating a person and the next man could also face such a situation. Advocate Nitin Mishra, appearing for Justice Mudgal, placed before the bench the letters written yesterday by Bansal seeking legal opinion and the reply of Dutta sent this morning.

The legal opinion stated that the action of Justice Mudgal in appointing a “selection panel” was an unauthorised intrusion into DDCA affairs and a clear violation of the mandate as directed by high court in its order on 11 November, 2015.

Mishra said “This is contempt of court as Justice Mudgal was appointed to oversee the affairs of DDCA as well. They are casting imputations against him.”

Taking note of the submission, the bench said Justice Mudgal was appointed as observer to oversee the overall functioning of DDCA and not only the matches to be played at the stadium.

Justice Mudgal was appointed as observer in November last year to oversee the test matches to be played at Ferozeshah Kotla stadium in December. This arrangement was extended time and again by the high court which had asked Justice Mudgal to oversee the T-20 matches, T-20 world cup and IPL.

(With PTI inputs)

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