Facing contempt notice, Anurag Thakur tenders 'unconditional' apology to Supreme Court
Facing contempt charges for filing a false affidavit in the Supreme Court, former BCCI President Anurag Thakur on Monday tendered an "unconditional and unqualified apology" before it.
Thakur, who was present in the court, said he had never intended to file any false information before the court and submitted an affidavit explaining the circumstances under which the averments made by him led to the initiation of contempt proceedings.
"I (Thakur) have tendered my unconditional and unqualified apology and I have explained the circumstances. I had not intended to file any false information," senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur, told the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, fixed the matter for hearing on April 17 and also exempted Thakur from personal appearance on that day.
The apex court had on January 2 come down heavily on the defiant BCCI brass and removed Thakur and Ajay Shirke as the President and Secretary for "obstructing" and "impeding" its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body.
The bench had in December last year slapped Thakur with contempt and perjury notices for filing a false affidavit over writing to the ICC on the issue of autonomy.
Thakur, as the President of the board, had allegedly asked for a letter from ICC CEO Dave Richardson that the appointment of a CAG nominee in the cricket body would compromise with autonomy and amount to government interference.
During the hearing today, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for BCCI, said they should be allowed to hold a meeting with the state associations to deliberate upon the issues which would come up in the upcoming ICC meeting.
He said if these issues are not discussed at the meeting, the government and BCCI would lose a huge amount of money, as it pertained to revenue.
However, senior counsel Parag Tripathi, representing the apex court-appointed Committee of Administrators, opposed the plea and said such a meeting can be allowed only when the state associations gave an undertaking in accordance with the court's direction that they would comply with the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha panel.
To this, the bench said, "Let us get the facts clear. We have nothing to do with the ICC. We are also concerned that India, as a country, should get the best deal, it should get the money".
"Supposing there is a loss, a big loss of money, that has to be taken care of. The issue is how it should be taken care of in the best possible manner," the apex court said.
When the bench said that ICC is a multi-layered body and BCCI is one of its members, Sibal said "but revenue comes from BCCI. 90 per cent revenue comes from the BCCI only".
The bench, however, clarified that it was not going into the fiscal aspect of ICC and BCCI.
Sibal argued that a regular member of ICC gets 75 per cent of the revenue while an associate member gets 25 per cent revenue and BCCI is likely to get over Rs 3,000 crore from the ICC as revenue.
At this juncture, the bench told Tripathi, "BCCI says if they can present the facts before the ICC, they can get the revenue."
Tripathi, however, said, "those who want to hold a meeting are in defiance of the Supreme Court's order. They have not given the affidavit that they are complying with the Lodha Panel recommendations. They can come to us and tell us all the points".
Sibal countered the submissions and said "we have to hold a meeting. Individual associations can't come to them. We have to meet and arrive at a consensus."
(With PTI inputs)