I Find the Op­por­tu­nity Daunt­ing: Jus­tice Mud­gal

The Economic Times - - Sports -

Jus­tice Mukul Mud­gal is the man given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of in­ves­ti­gat­ing the IPL spot­fix­ing and bet­ting con­tro­versy. In his first in­ter­view since be­ing cho­sen, Jus­tice Mud­gal talks to Bo­ria Ma­jum­dar about the task he’s been given. You now have ex­tra­or­di­nary pow­ers to in­ves­ti­gate the is­sue. How do you look at it, is it an op­por­tu­nity or do you find the chal­lenge daunt­ing? You can say the ‘op­por­tu­nity’ is ‘daunt­ing’. It is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity and I am look­ing at it as an op­por­tu­nity. We have worked for four months in try­ing to get to the root of the prob­lem within the frame­work of the limited man­date we had and now we have the op­por­tu­nity to re­ally in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter. As I said, I find the op­por­tu­nity daunt­ing. I wouldn’t be wrong in say­ing world cricket is look­ing at what the Mud­gal Com­mit­tee will do. Your thoughts. I think that’s over­stat­ing things a bit. We have a man­date to look into one as­pect of the prob­lem. To ex­pect that we can cleanse the game as a whole would be to ex­pect too much. Some­times people’s ex­pec­ta­tions tend to be a lit­tle un­rea­son­able. We need to stay within the pa­ram­e­ters of our man­date. Let’s not be over­am­bi­tious to start with and say we can clean cricket as a whole. Rather, I would like to say that we will in­ves­ti­gate the IPL prob­lem to its very core and try to do it ob­jec­tively and ra­tio­nally. Let me ask you a hy­po­thet­i­cal ques­tion—if any one of the 13 in­di­vid­u­als is found to be guilty, what will you do? Con­sid­er­ing each of these people are icons in their own right, will you be able to deal with the sit­u­a­tion ob­jec­tively? Of course. Let me state one thing clearly— the game of cricket is big­ger than any in­di­vid­ual and our task is to en­sure the game re­mains that way. We will be en­tirely ob­jec­tive in our in­ves­ti­ga­tion and will al­ways keep in mind that we are do­ing it for the game, which is why these icons ex­ist in the first place. We will not be taken by whether some­one is an icon. All we are con­cerned with is the sanc­tity and wel­fare of cricket. And what about the time frame? You now need to in­ves­ti­gate 13 high pro­file names. I am sure this will en­tail in­ter­view­ing each of them and a host of oth­ers and you will have to be dis­creet in do­ing so. With the In­dian team trav­el­ling in June-July, how do you pro­pose to con­duct the in­ves­ti­ga­tion in three-anda-half months? It is too early to com­ment on this ques­tion. There is no doubt that the task as­signed to us is com­plex and is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity. There is also no doubt that we will be dis­creet. But, whether or not we need three months or more is im­pos­si­ble to state at this point in time. If we think we need more time and have real rea­sons to be­lieve so, I have no doubt that the Court will grant us an ex­ten­sion. But, there is no rea­son to spec­u­late on this is­sue now. You have been in­vested with ex­tra­or­di­nary pow­ers. In fact, you can do al­most ev­ery­thing ex­cept make an ar­rest. How do you see this? We have been given enor­mous in­ves­tiga­tive pow­ers. Now it is upon us to en­sure we use the pow­ers justly and make sure no one is hurt or de­famed un­nec­es­sar­ily. That is some­thing we will guard against from the out­set and en­sure that the power is ex­er­cised prop­erly. So, when do you pro­pose to start out with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion for­mally? Very shortly. I am on a hol­i­day till 23rd May and once I am back, we will get go­ing with the task at hand. It will be im­por­tant we choose the right people for the job.

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