New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought a fresh apology from Anurag Thakur, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), who is facing charges of perjury for interfering in the implementation of the Lodha committee’s recommendations.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra extended an opportunity for an “unconditional, unequivocal and unqualified" apology from Thakur and asked him to be personally present in court for the next hearing.
This comes after the court did not find his previous apology, extended in March, to be absolutely “unconditional and unqualified".
Senior advocate P.S. Patwalia, appearing for Thakur, told the court that his client was willing to tender the apology and had not intended to file any false information. The apology is likely to be filed by Tuesday.
The issue of perjury arose after the court found discrepancies in Thakur’s statements on seeking a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating that implementation of the Lodha panel’s recommendations and the apex court’s directions amounted to government interference in the board’s working and could mean the derecognition of the BCCI.
On 2 January, the court removed Anurag Thakur as president and Ajay Shirke as secretary of the BCCI, and set the stage for a revamp of the country’s top cricketing body after the two officials failed to comply with its order to implement the reforms recommended by a panel headed by former Chief Justice of India, R.M. Lodha.
Thereafter, a four-member committee headed by former comptroller and auditor general of India Vinod Rai was appointed to manage the workings of the board.
The verdict sacking Thakur was passed after a long-drawn impasse over the implementation of the reforms recommended in the report by the Lodha committee, which was constituted by the apex court to clean up the BCCI after the 2013 Indian Premier League betting and spot-fixing scandal.
The committee recommended several sweeping changes in the BCCI including a “one state, one vote" formula that seeks to prevent states with multiple cricket associations from casting more than one vote, an age cap for office-bearers, and a ban on civil servants being part of the board, which has seen stiff resistance from the cricketing body.
While the BCCI agreed to implement some of the panel’s suggestions, it has opposed and refused to implement the “one state, one vote" formula, the age cap for office-bearers and the ban on civil servants being part of the BCCI’s board.
The case will be heard next on 14 July.