Anurag Thakur offers unconditional apology to Supreme Court

Anurag Thakur was present at the apex court. His counsel told the court that he "never intended anything (to disobey the court)... somehow an impression got created."

Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur was present at the Supreme Court on Monday.   -  Kamal Narang

Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur rendered an "unconditional and unqualified" apology to the Supreme Court on Monday in a contempt of court case.

READ: Nothing has changed on reforms front, CoA tells Supreme Court

Mr. Thakur was present in the courtroom as a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud spared him from future making similar personal appearances in the case.

The court however said it will continue to hear the contempt case on April 17.

P.S. Patwalia, who is an Additional Solicitor General, submitted that the unconditional apology features in the very first line of the application filed by Mr. Thakur before the court.

"I never intended anything... There is nothing in it an impression somehow has got created," Mr. Patwalia sought to explain to the court.

He sought a shorter date for the next hearing, sometime in March, saying Mr. Thakur was "pursuing public life". But the court refused, though it initially advanced the date from April 24 to April 17.

On January 2, the Supreme Court had noted that its diktats are not “written in sand” and meant to be complied with while stripping Mr. Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke of their posts with Indian cricket's most powerful body.

The court had declared Mr. Thakur and Mr. Shirke “unfit” to continue at the helm of the BCCI for their “obstructionist” attitude and specious pleas in court about their incapacity to make affiliated State associations fall in line with the Justice Lodha reforms.

The court primarily referred to how Mr. Thakur had “washed his hands off a duty and obligation to ensure compliance” of the Lodha panel reforms, citing the excuse that he has been “rendered totally incapable and without any authority” to compel the members to comply with the orders of the court.

The BCCI bosses not only made “unfortunate comments” about the Lodha Committee in public but also ended up hurting the dignity of the Supreme Court with their attitude, the order noted.

Besides, the court found Mr. Thakur prima facie guilty of both contempt of Supreme Court proceedings and perjury (fabrication of false evidence), adding that such a person does not deserve to continue as BCCI president.

The court held that Mr. Thakur's attempts to “solicit” ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar in Dubai for a letter to undermine the Supreme Court judgment of July 18, 2016 which upheld the Lodha Committee recommendation to include a CAG nominee on the Board's apex council prima facie amounted to sheer contempt.

The court had concluded that Mr. Thakur had apparently acted to garner evidence that the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee's interventions in the working of the BCCI amounted to “governmental interference”.

The apex court further said Mr. Thakur was prima facie guilty of placing on record a “fabricated” minutes of a BCCI Working Committee meeting held on August 22, 2016 in order to lend support for his version that he had only sought a clarification from Mr. Manohar and not a letter.

This claim of Mr. Thakur was later found untrue when Mr. Manohar, in a correspondence to the Supreme Court on November 2, clarified that the BCCI president did ask him for the letter. The court found that Mr. Thakur had also filed affidavits making false statements.

The court had issued notice to Mr. Thakur for his response on why he should not face both contempt proceedings and a criminal prosecution for perjury.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :