Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur today tendered a fresh “unconditional” and “unequivocal” apology in the Supreme Court, saying it was never his intention to undermine the majesty of the apex court. Thakur, a senior BJP leader and a Member of Parliament from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, was asked by the apex court on July 7 to tender an apology in explicit terms to get relief from the contempt proceedings initiated against him. “I humbly submit that it was never the intention of the deponent to undermine the majesty of this court and since unintentionally some kind of misinformation and miscommunication has occured, I unhesitatingly tender my unconditional and unequivocal apology to this court,” he said in his affidavit filed today. The apex court had directed him to file a “one-page short affidavit” tendering an apology while making it clear that it was not going to consider his earlier affidavit of apology. The apex court had also asked Thakur to be present on July 14 to tender the apology, indicating that it was willing to accept the apology and close the contempt proceedings against Thakur.
Senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur had said that though his client was willing to tender an unconditional apology, he had a very good case on merit through which it can be proved that he did no wrong. Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae (friend of court) in the matter, had said if the court was magnanimous in granting pardon to Thakur, then he has nothing to say, but the apology should be unqualified and explicit in terms. The apex court had initiated contempt proceedings against Thakur on January 2 this year for filing a false affidavit regarding writing to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the issue of BCCI’s autonomy. It had slapped Thakur with contempt and perjury notices for filing a false affidavit over writing to the ICC on the issue.
“The conduct of the President of BCCI in seeking a letter from the President of ICC in August 2016, after the final judgement and Order of this Court, is nothing but an attempt on the part of the head of BCCI to evade complying with the Order of this Court,” the apex court had said while issuing a show-cause notice to Thakur. Coming down heavily on the defiant BCCI brass, the apex court had on January 2 removed Thakur and Ajay Shirke as the President and the Secretary for “obstructing” and “impeding” its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body. It had also appointed a committee of administrators to oversee BCCI’s functions. Thakur had on March 6 tendered an “unconditional and unqualified apology” before the apex court, saying he had never intended to file any false information before the apex court.
On January 30, the apex court had appointed a four-member committee of administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai to run BCCI’s affairs and implement court-approved recommendations of the Justice R M Lodha panel on reforms in the cash-rich cricket body. Three other members of the committee of administrators included historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, IDFC Managing Director and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji. Guha had recently informed the apex court that he has tendered his resignation due to personal reasons to Rai.