Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Anurag Thakur on Friday got relief from the Supreme Court which dropped the contempt and perjury proceedings against him after he tendered an unconditional and unequivocal apology in person.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra dropped the proceedings against Thakur after his senior counsel P S Patwalia said that the former BCCI chief and BJP MP has expressed his regret from the core of his heart.
"An affidavit has been filed by the contemnor. The contemnor (Thakur) also, as assured by senior counsel P S Patwalia, appearing for the contemnor, is personally present in the Court. The contemnor has also expressed his regret and states that whatever has been stated in the affidavit has come from the core of his heart," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud noted.
The top court also recorded the submission of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, assisting the court as amicus curiae, that "the whole episode can be closed as regards the contemnor because of the affidavit filed."
Subramanium also submitted that there was some kind of misinformation or miscommunication.
"Regard being had to the factual scenario in entirety, we drop the proceedings for contempt and also the direction for initiation of the proceedings under Section 340 CrPC (perjury) and the notice stands discharged," the bench said.
Earlier, Thakur had tendered an "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.
It 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.
"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.
CAB's contempt plea against BCCI to be considered: SC
The Supreme Court said the plea of Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and others for allegedly violating its order would be covered when it considers the fourth report of the committee of administrators (CoA).
In the fourth status report submitted by the court-appointed COA, former cricket administrators N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah have been described as "disqualified office bearers with vested interest", who were trying to stall the implementation of Justice R M Lodha panel reforms.
When senior advocate Ajit Kumar Sinha, appearing for CAB and its secretary Aditya Kumar Verma, raised the issue of contempt, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said when it takes up the matter on July 24 to deliberate on the fourth report of CoA, the plea can be covered.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said it will only go into the issue of law and at that time, the plea of CAB can be taken care of.
CAB has alleged that Choudhary, Rajesh Verma, secretary of Jharkhand State Cricket Association, Asirbad Behera, secretary of Orissa Cricket Association, and Baldev Singh Bhatia, President of Chattisgarh State Cricket Association, had committed "gross contempt" of the court's orders.
Image: Anurag Thakur