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Home Constitutional News Supreme Court Apex Court Sacks BCCI President Thakur and Secretary

Apex Court Sacks BCCI President Thakur and Secretary

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Apex Court Sacks BCCI President Thakur and Secretary
(L-R) Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and Anurag Thakur. Photo: UNI
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SC also slaps contempt of court charge on Anurag Thakur, appoints two administrators to select new president, secretary  

By Sujit Bhar

The first working day of the New Year has brought to an end the Raj at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). As Board president Anurag Thakur, a BJP MP, and secretary Ajay Shirke disregarded the Supreme Courts’ order (of July 18, 2016) on adhering to the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations, the Supreme Court bench – headed by outgoing Chief Justice TS Thakur – on January 2, 2017 summarily sacked them and put the richest sporting body of the country under administration.

The bench, which also has Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, appointed senior advocates Fali S Nariman and Gopal Subramanium as administrators. They will be responsible for setting up a new set of office bearers of the Board, including its president and secretary.

File photo of Ajay Shirke who was sacked as BCCI secretary. Photo: UNI
File photo of Ajay Shirke who was sacked as BCCI secretary. Photo: UNI

The other huge decision by the judges was slapping contempt proceedings on Anurag Thakur, which is a criminal proceeding and could land Thakur in jail. The court asked for an explanation from Thakur as to “why perjury and contempt of court proceedings should not be carried out against him”.

The perjury issue has arisen, because Thakur had lied to the court in an affidavit, saying he had not asked for a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC), which would have confirmed his assertion that the Lodha Committee’s recommendations translated to interference into matters of the Board. The ICC does not allow governments to interfere into the administration of its full members.

The affidavit was proved to be false, when ICC chief executive David Richardson admitted on an Indian television channel that Thakur had actually written such a letter to the ICC.

The Lodha Committee had recommended that a member of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s office be co-opted into the apex council of the BCCI.

The other huge decision by the judges was slapping contempt proceedings on Anurag Thakur, which is a criminal proceeding and could land Thakur in jail. The court asked for an explanation from Thakur as to “why perjury and contempt of court proceedings should not be carried out against him”.

The apex court directed that the senior-most BCCI vice-president will be interim president and joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary will take over as secretary. The BCCI has five vice-presidents – ML Nehru (North Zone), Dr G Gangaraju (South), Gautam Roy (East), TC Mathew (West) and CK Khanna (Central).

There is a court stricture on these interim office bearers as well. They have to give an undertaking that they will adhere to the July 18 court order.

The order was welcomed by all. Justice RM Lodha (Retd), chairman of the Lodha Committee, has reportedly said: “This is the logical consequence. Once the recommendations were accepted by the court, it had to be implemented. There were obstructions, there were impediments… obviously, this had to happen, and it has happened. The Supreme Court itself has ensured that its order of July 18 is now enforced. It is victory for the game of cricket and it will flourish. Administrators come and go; ultimately it is for the game.”

According to Cricket Association of Bihar secretary, Aditya Verma, the originator of the entire issue – the case was listed as Board of Control for Cricket vs Cricket Association of Bihar & Ors – it was “victory for the game and defeat of the corrupt”. Speaking exclusively to India Legal over phone, he said: “I am… happy that the topmost authority of the country has finally heard my plea and has given a very right verdict… The BCCI mandarins had thought they were above all, even above the law of the country. They will have to pay for the bad work they did at the BCCI…”

Anurag Thakur has released a cryptic message that contains the following: “If Hon’ble Supreme Court judges feel that, BCCI could do better under the retired judges, I wish them all the best.” (See picture of statement for full text).

Anurag Thakur's statement (that he has tweeted) after he was sacked as BCCI president on January 2, 2017, by the Supreme Court. Photo: twitter
Anurag Thakur’s statement (that he has tweeted) after he was sacked as BCCI president on January 2, 2017, by the Supreme Court. Photo: twitter

Lead: (L-R) Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and Anurag Thakur. Photo: UNI

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