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Published On: Thu, Dec 15th, 2016

BCCI president Anurag Thakur may land in jail if perjury charges proved : SC

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38337-hgiljwkyip-1469703397NEW DELHI :

NEW DELHI :In a huge blow for the Indian cricket board, the Supreme Court suggested on Thursday that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur committed perjury by filing false affidavit. The court further added that Thakur might land in jail if perjury is proved.

Hitting out hard at the BCCI president, SC said, “BCCI case-prima facia we believe a case of PERJURY is made out we will launch a prosecution. Apologise if you want to escape, but even then we are not sure if we could accept apology.”The charges were put on Thakur after Lodha panel informed the apex court about Thakur writting a letter to ICC chief executive Dave Richardson requesting for a letter from ICC, stating whether the appointment of a CAG official — as per Lodha panel’s recommendation — amounted to government interference in BCCI. The court also reserved order on replacing BCCI top brass with a panel of administrators.

Chief Justice of India T S Thakur today said cricket board BCCI chief Anurag Thakur seems to have “committed perjury” after the court was informed that Mr Thakur had made a false statement on asking the International Cricket Council or ICC to clarify whether a recommendation made by the Lodha committee amounted to interference in the board’s running. The top court is hearing the Lodha panel’s complaint that the cricket board has refused to implement the reforms it has suggested and which the court has approved.

1.) “Prima facie Anurag Thakur committed perjury,” the Chief Justice said and in a strong rebuke suggested that Mr Thakur, who is a BJP lawmaker, “ought to absolutely apologise if you want to escape. These kinds of things don’t help. Please don’t force us. You go to ICC and ask for a letter so that you can return to say BCCI will be out of ICC. The whole object was to stop court. This seems to be a lucrative business and everyone wants it to go on.”

2.) Kapil Sibal, appearing for the BCCI, said he was “ready to apologise.”

3.) The court’s observations came after the Lodha panel’s lawyer alleged that Mr Thakur had lied on oath to the court on having asked the ICC for a letter to advise against inducting a nominee of government auditor Comptroller and Auditor General or CAG on a council to run the board proposed by the committee.

4.) The court said that Mr Thakur had been making wrong statements in his affidavits regarding seeking a letter from the International Cricket Council to support its stand. ICC Chairman, Shashank Manohar, as BCCI president had stated that that the interference from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) into BCCI may lead action by the ICC

Manohar had taken over as ICC boss after the July 18 Supreme Court ruling, so he refused to provide any letter to Mr Thakur about CAG interference. Mr Thakur, the court said today, had made false statements regarding this.

5) The Lodha Committee, headed by former Chief Justice RM Lodha, was set up in January, 2015 by the Supreme Court after a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League or IPL to suggest changes in the way the BCCI, the world’s richest cricket board, is run.

6.) The committee had made recommendations earlier this year that the Supreme Court approved in July and asked the BCCI to implement. The BCCI has however pleaded that it can’t implement all the reforms, which include large-scale structural and management changes.

7.) In earlier hearings the court has rapped the board on the knuckles asking whether it believes “it is a law unto itself.” It had on October 21 this year frozen the accounts frozen but the money was later released to enable the board to conduct the matches with the visiting New Zealand side.

8.) At today’s hearing the BCCI rejected the Lodha committee’s recommendation that former union home secretary GK Pillai be appointed as an independent auditor to scrutinise the grant of contracts by the board as ordered by the court. The court gave BCCI one week to suggest the names for administrators who can run the affairs.

9.) The judges have now given the board a week’s time to suggest names for the post. The court will hear the case next on January 2 or 3, 2017.

10) Among the changes that the Lodha Panel has recommended are – age caps, tenure restrictions for the BCCI office-bearers, one-man-one-post and one-state-one-vote, among others.

The Supreme Court had given the board time until December 3 to implement the reforms suggested by the three-member panel, which is headed by former Chief Justice of India Rajendra Mal Lodha.

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