The Supreme Court on Friday gave another chance to former BCCI president Anurag Thakur to tender an ‘unequivocal’ and ‘categorical’ apology in a contempt case initiated against him for misleading and filing a false affidavit before it. While refusing to consider the earlier apology tendered by Thakur in March, a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra asked him to file afresh ‘one-page short affidavit’ tendering unconditional apology. It indicated that it was willing to close the contempt proceedings against Thakur, a BJP MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, if he tendered ‘unequivocal’ and ‘categorical’ apology. Senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur, said though his client was willing to tender an unconditional apology, he has got a very good case on merits through which it can be proved that he did no wrong. The apex court then fixed the matter for further hearing on July 14 and asked Thakur to remain present before it on that day. The apex court had on January 2 removed Thakur and Ajay Shirke as the president and secretary for ‘obstructing’ and ‘impeding’ its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body. It had also slapped Thakur with contempt and perjury notices for filing a false affidavit over writing to the ICC on the issue of autonomy.
There were media reports on September 12 that quoted ICC chief executive David Richardson as saying that Thakur had asked the ICC to address a letter to the BCCI, asking it to clarify whether the recommendations of the Lodha panel did not amount to government interference in the board’s running. As per ICC regulations, member boards cannot have government interference in their running.