SC: Thakur tried to question legitimacy of Lodha reforms

The Supreme Court has decided to first wait to hear from ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and ICC CEO Dave Richardson.

Supreme Court

Trouble is brewing for BCCI president Anurag Thakur with the Supreme Court on Friday prima facie concluding that he made efforts to “question the legitimacy” of the recommendations of the Justice R. M. Lodha Committee despite the Supreme Court upholding them.

In a 21-page judgment, a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur observed that there was “no occasion” for the BCCI president to urge ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar for a letter “clarifying” if the Justice Lodha Committee recommendation to induct a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the BCCI Apex Council amounted to “governmental interference”. This, especially, when the Supreme Court had already upheld the particular recommendation on the CAG nominee in its judgment of July 18, 2016.

The meeting before Mr. Thakur and Mr. Manohar took place on August 6-7, 2016 on the sidelines of an ICC event organised in Dubai.

“It is a matter of serious concern that the BCCI president, even after the declaration of the final judgment of this Court on July 18, 2016, requested the ICC Chairperson for a letter 'clarifying' (as he states) the position which he (Manohar) had taken as BCCI President on the induction of a CAG nominee,” observed the judgment authored by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud for the Bench also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.

Noting that the Supreme Court's judgment “binds” the BCCI to comply and not question, the court arrived at a prima facie conclusion that Mr. Thakur's effort to get the letter from Mr. Manohar was a bid to “create a record in order to question the legitimacy of the recommendation of the Committee for the appointment of a CAG nominee”.

Mr. Manohar had refused to write the letter. But had the ICC provided BCCI such a document, the Board would have had a strong case against the Lodha Committee recommendation in court. It would have displayed the letter to argue in the Supreme Court that a CAG nominee would mean “governmental interference” and lead to the suspension of BCCI from world cricket. The Lodha Committee's work would have taken a beating.

> Read: SC orders appointment of auditor to scrutinise BCCI accounts

Mr. Thakur's “effort” for a letter was despite the Supreme Court's specific reassurance to the Board in its July 18 judgment that “far from finding fault with presence of a nominee of the Accountant General of the State and C&AG, the ICC would in our opinion appreciate any such step for the same... The nominees recommended by the Committee would act as conscience keepers of the State Associations and the BCCI”.

The Supreme Court deferred its verdict on Mr. Thakur. It has decided to first wait to hear from ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and ICC CEO Dave Richardson.

The court has spread its web wider to systematically nail the truth behind Mr. Thakur's conduct. Directing the Lodha Committee to forward Mr. Manohar a copy of this judgment, it has provided the ICC chief a full opportunity to give the apex court a complete picture of what transpired between him and the BCCI president on August 6-7 in Dubai.

The court said Mr. Manohar was at liberty to get a report from ICC CEO Dave Richardson. It was Mr. Richardson, who had in an interview, alleged that Mr. Thakur approached the ICC for the letter.

The court has specifically sought to include Mr. Richardson's version because BCCI, through its authorised signatory and office-bearer Ratnakar Shetty, had filed an affidavit on oath blankly denying the ICC CEO's allegation and even accusing him of making a “false statement”.

The court has scheduled the next hearing on December 5, 2016.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :