Thakur: 'Wanted Manohar to clarify stand on CAG nominee'

In a four-page affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, Anurag Thakur explained that he had met ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Dubai on the sidelines of an ICC meeting held on August 6 and 7, 2016.

Anurag Thakur’s personal affidavit was in response of a court order on October 7, 2016 to explain allegations raised by Richardson that the BCCI president had sought a letter saying that the Lodha Committee reforms amounted to “government interference”.   -  PTI

The BCCI President Anurag Thakur on Monday denied asking ICC CEO Dave Richardson to state that the Supreme Court’s appointment of Justice R.M. Lodha Committee is tantamount to “governmental interference” in the working of the Board.

Read: >SC reserves order on Lodha recommendations

In a four-page affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, Thakur explained that he had met ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Dubai on the sidelines of an ICC meeting held on August 6 and 7, 2016.

Read: >Did BCCI lobby to remove Manohar as ICC Chairman?

Thakur submitted that he had reminded Mr. Manohar of his earlier stand as BCCI president that Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendation to have a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) nominee on the BCCI Apex Council was “governmental interference” and might lead to BCCI’s suspension from ICC.

Read: >BCCI member responsible for Lodha recommendations

Thakur said he had merely asked Manohar to “clarify” his position on the issue as ICC chairman.

The meeting in Dubai had happened a few days after the Supreme Court on July 18, 2016 upheld the Lodha Committee reforms, including having a CAG nominee in the Board.

Thakur’s personal affidavit was in response of a court order on October 7, 2016 to explain allegations raised by Richardson that the BCCI president had sought a letter saying that the Lodha Committee reforms amounted to “government interference”. Senior advocate and amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium had brought Richardson’s allegations to the court’s notice.

“So are you accusing Mr. Richardson of falsehood then?” Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, at the head of a Bench also comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, reacted to the affidavit.

“Then the best thing is to ask Mr. Shashank Manohar as to what happened. I (Anurag Thakur) never spoke to Mr. Dave Richardson,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal responded.

“He (Richardson) said Anurag Thakur asked the ICC,” Chief Justice Thakur said.

“I never asked anyone to write a letter. I asked Mr. Shashank Manohar only to clarify his stand about the appointment of CAG nominee. He told me that this was a stand taken before the July 18 judgement. In the judgement, the Supreme Court has rejected the BCCI submission that such an appointment of a CAG nominee will be governmental interference. Mr. Manohar told me that the Supreme Court had asked the ICC to appreciate the appointment of a CAG nominee for the sake of financial transparency. We finished our discussion and we left it at that,” Sibal submitted for the BCCI president.

Sibal said that a CAG nominee was already on the Board.

In his turn, Subramanium submitted that a letter was indeed sought for and was meant by the BCCI as an instrument “to set up an argument to not implement the July 18 judgment”.

“This gentleman (Anurag Thakur) holds a position of trust. How can he be trusted now to implement the judgement? That is the question,” Subramanium seconded the status report by Justice Lodha Committee to replace the top BCCI administrators, including Anurag Thakur.

The court however acknowledged the authority of Ratnakar Shivaram Shetty, General Manager, Administration and Game, BCCI, to file an affidavit for the Board in the Supreme Court. On October 7, the Bench had questioned Shetty’s authority to respond on BCCI’s behalf to Lodha Committee’s status report.