Supreme Court seeks BCCI response on treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry’s ‘threat’ to CFO Santosh Rangnekar
By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Published: November 30, 2017 2:39 am Anirudh Chaudhry described the allegations as “false, frivolous and baseless.” (Source: Express photo)
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked BCCI and its treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry to respond to allegations that the latter had threatened the cricket board’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Santosh Rangnekar. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud gave Chaudhry two weeks time to respond to the charges. Senior Counsel Gopal Subramanium who is the Amicus Curiae in the matter told the court that an email was sent by the CFO to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) head Vinod Rai wherein the CFO alleged that he was threatened on three occasions.
Senior advocate Puneet Bali, appearing for the BCCI treasurer, vehemently denied the allegations and said he had never issued any threats. Chaudhry described the allegations as “false, frivolous and baseless”.
“It saddens me that it has come to a situation where the peddling of lies before the Hon’ble Supreme Court can even be considered by someone, leave alone executed,” the BCCI treasurer said in a statement, pointing out that the email, dated October 11, was given to the Amicus “only about 10 minutes before (today’s) hearing” and the contents of the letter were “never ever” put to him by anyone before that were mentioned in the court.
Bali also hinted at legal action in the matter. “We will file a reply…These are allegations with a motive, because my client (Chaudhry) as a treasurer puts an objection to certain functioning of the CFO, which are against rules and regulations. This is just a plan to oust him,” Bali told The Indian Express, adding: “My client is contemplating legal action (against Rangnekar) and we are in conference for that. We will decide our future course of action. But first, we must make our stand clear before the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
The email from the CFO that the Amicus Curiae produced, was dated October 11. Rangnekar mentioned therein that “liquidation” threats were given to him on October 6. “Anybody can write an email saying that I was threatened by anybody. So why did he (Rangnekar) not file a complaint before the police on October 6? Why did he not make a complaint to anybody? Why was this not pointed to the court on an earlier occasion (October 30 hearing)?” Bali questioned. He hinted that the allegation could be a direct consequence of the fallout between the treasurer and the CFO over certain financial issues. “My client (Chaudhry) put some objection on the financial issues, which the CFO is doing against the rules and regulations of the BCCI or against the mandate of the Lodha Committee,” Bali said, stressing that the email was not written by Chaudhry.
The CoA has restricted Chaudhry’s powers as treasurer chiefly because according to the Supreme Court-appointed committee, Chaudhry is lending his “steadfast and unflinching support to persons who have a vested interest in obstructing the reforms process”. Bali, however, said: “My client is committed to the reforms.” The apex court also asked CoA to file a chart, containing comments and suggestions on the draft constitution of BCCI and fixed the matter for hearing in January 2018.
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