With the Supreme Court's next hearing scheduled for January 17, the treasurer said it would have been appropriate to conduct the interviews after the hearing to avoid running into legal tangles. Edulji, who was in favour of extending outgoing coach Ramesh Powar’s tenure temporarily, also attacked her colleague for his handling of the entire process.
"Would it not be appropriate to wait till the 17th of January, ie; the next date of hearing before the SC and keep the present matter of coach selection in abeyance till then and have either (Ramesh) Powar continue or have someone else take charge till then?" Chaudhry wrote in his letter.
"It would avoid unnecessary legal issues and unwanted controversy.
An ad-hoc selection committee, comprising former captain Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, recommended three names to the Board – Gary Kirsten, Raman and former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad. Kirsten was the first choice but could not take the role up as he refused to give up his appointment as IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) head coach. Late on Thursday night, an unsigned BCCI media release confirmed Raman would take over, though there was no clarity on his tenure.
Chaudhry said the BCCI cannot approve an appointment in the current situation.
"Since there is no decision of the CoA in the matter of the selection of the coach, the process and an appointment if any in the present facts and circumstances, are without jurisdiction and without authority and an appointment that may be a result of this process can in no manner be called an appointment for and on behalf of the BCCI."
Edulji, a former India captain, wrote to Rai Thursday morning, asking him to put the interview process on hold, but the ex-Comptroller and Auditor General of India gave the go-ahead after taking former Supreme Court judge B M Srikrishna's opinion on the legality of the move.
Chaudhry felt Edulji, who had earlier also called for the process of interviewing the candidates to be put on hold, is being circumvented by Rai's decision to go ahead with it.
"The email sent by Diana Edulji, member of the CoA, which was copied to the office bearers as well, has touched upon some very fundamental issues. It has given us an unprecedented insight into the working of the CoA, the professional management and the legal team of the BCCI," Chaudhry wrote.
"I regret to state that it does not paint a rosy picture about the state of affairs with regard to the administration of BCCI. To put it mildly, the decision making seems irregular, the outcome of which may prove to be illegal.
"The execution, blind or otherwise, of those decisions casts serious doubts on either the intention or the competence of those who execute it."
The Supreme Court-appointed COA has been divided over the coach selection process. While Edulji wanted Powar to continue at least till the New Zealand tour starting next month, Rai instructed the BCCI top brass to invite fresh applications for the position which was left vacant after Ramesh Powar's brief stint as interim coach ended last month.
Powar too appeared for the interview in Mumbai.
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: December 20, 2018, 9:45 PM IST