Manohar’s response to the SC might have a lot to reveal

ICC chairman Shashank Manohar response to the October 21 Supreme Court order might reveal more about the issue of BCCI allegedly asking ICC to furnish a letter averring that the appointment of a CAG nominee in the proposed apex council would be tantamount to government interference.

Anurag Thakur speaks after BCCI meeting to discuss its latest stance on the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel's report.   -  PTI

With two versions of affidavits placed before the Supreme Court — one by BCCI president Anurag Thakur and the second by the Board’s general manager Ratnakar Shetty — on the issue of the ICC being asked to furnish a letter averring that the appointment of a CAG nominee in the proposed apex council would be tantamount to government interference, the observations of the International body’s chairman Shashank Manohar sent to the Justice R. M. Lodha committee might reveal a lot more.

On October 21, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had asked the Lodha Committee to forward a copy of the Supreme Court order to Manohar.

The order states: “Prima facie, an effort has been made by the President of the BCCI to create a record in order to question the legitimacy of the recommendation of the (Lodha) Committee for the appointment of a CAG nominee after the recommendation was accepted by this Court on 18 July 2016.

"We presently defer further consideration of the action to be taken with reference to his conduct. Mr. Shetty in his response to the status report claims that the CEO of the ICC had "falsely" stated in his interview that the President of the BCCI had requested the ICC to issue a letter stating that the intervention of this Court amounted to governmental interference. The version of Mr. Shetty is at variance to what is alleged to have been stated by the CEO of ICC.

"It may also become necessary for this Court to assess the veracity of the version of Mr. Shetty and that of (ICC CEO) Mr. (Dave) Richardson."

"A copy of this order shall be forwarded to [Manohar] by the Secretary to the (Lodha) Committee in order to enable him to consider filing a response setting out his version, to set the record straight and assist this Court. Mr. Manohar is at liberty to obtain a report from Mr. Richardson before filing his response."

It is understood that Manohar’s response has been sent in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court.

Anurag Thakur had admitted in his affidavit that he had indeed sought clarification from the ICC chairman as to whether the CAG’s nominee in the BCCI can be taken as government interference.

The October 21 order had also asked the Board president and secretary to file an affidavit within two weeks indicating the Lodha Committee recommendations which have been complied with, the manner of compliance and the steps adopted for securing compliance with the remaining recommendations.