New Delhi: Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur on Monday appeared before a Supreme Court bench and tendered "unconditional and unqualified apology" to the apex court in the perjury case against him. The SC in response has exempted him from personal appearance on the next hearing date which is April 17.
Thakur, who was present in the court, said he had never intended to file any false information before the apex court and filed an affidavit explaining the circumstances under which the arguments made by him led to the initiation of contempt proceedings.
Thakur is facing perjury charges as the SC believes that the former BCCI president lied about not asking for a letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC) which would convey that the appointment of a CAG official in the Indian cricket board will be tantamount to government interference.
Later, ICC CEO Dave Richardson came on record to say that BCCI has indeed asked for a letter but President Shashank Manohar refused.
"Prima facie, we feel you are in contempt of court and we are inclined to launch prosecution against you. ICC Chairman Mr Manohar says that you have asked him to write a letter. There was no occasion for you to do it when the Supreme Court had said that appointment of CAG nominee would bring in transparency." the former CJI had said.
Thakur was removed from his position as BCCI president along with secretary Ajay Shirke for not following Supreme Court's guidlines on the implementation of the Lodha committee reforms.
"I (Thakur) have tendered my unconditional and unqualified apology and I have explained the circumstances. I had not intended to file any false information," senior advocate P S Patwalia, appearing for Thakur, told the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra.
The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, fixed the matter for hearing on April 17 and also exempted Thakur from personal appearance on that day.
The apex court had on January 2 come down heavily on the defiant BCCI brass and removed Thakur and Ajay Shirke as the President and Secretary for "obstructing" and "impeding" its directions for overhauling governance in the cricket body.
The bench had slapped Thakur with contempt and perjury notices for filing a false affidavit over writing to the ICC on the issue of autonomy.
(With PTI inputs)