BCCI vs Lodha panel: SC to initiate prosecution against Anurag Thakur; defers verdict till 3 January

New Delhi: The Supreme Court threatened to initiate contempt and perjury proceedings against BCCI President Anurag Thakur for asking the ICC CEO for a letter but denying it on oath, warning he may have to go to jail if found guilty.

 BCCI vs Lodha panel: SC to initiate prosecution against Anurag Thakur; defers verdict till 3 January

The SC came down hard on BCCI president Anurag Thakur. AFP

The court reminded the BCCI top brass that Thakur as President of the board had 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.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, pulled up the BCCI for trying to mislead the court and warned Thakur that he may land in jail if the apex court pronounces its order in perjury proceedings.

"Why are you trying to mislead the court? If you want to escape perjury charges, you ought to apologise. At every stage you have been trying to obstruct. Everyone wants to go around and continue to hold the post even after 70 years. This is such a lucrative business that everyone wants to go on forever.

"Freedom of expression allows you to disagree with the order but you can't obstruct implementation of order. Once we pronounce the order (in perjury proceedings), you will have no other place to go except jail," the court said.

The top court also referred to a letter by the current ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar and said even he has said that Thakur had asked for such a letter, which he had refused.

While the bench was dwelling on the issue of Justice R M Lodha panel's suggestion to appoint former Home Secretary G K Pillai as an observer of BCCI, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the board, said, "we have strong reservations but I don't want to come out with the reason in public domain".

However, expressing its strong displeasure against Anurag Thakur's conduct, the bench said "If you are asking for a letter from ICC, we prima facie feel that you are in contempt and we also prima facie feel that you are liable for perjury and we are inclined to launch prosecution."

"Manohar is very clear. You did ask him to write a letter from ICC that CAG nominee in BCCI would affect the autonomy of the board. What was the occasion for you to raise this and say so? CAG nominee was for maintaining the transparency.

"What was the occasion to raise this issue after the judgement of this court? How can you tell ICC CEO to give a letter that what this court has said in its judgement about CAG nominee amounts to governmental interference. This amounts to perjury," the bench said.

Updated Date: Dec 15, 2016 19:20:39 IST