CHENNAI: The Supreme Court was expected to give a judgement on approving the restructured BCCI constitution on Wednesday. It was also expected to name replacements for Ramachandra Guha and Vikram Limaye, who resigned from the committee of administrators (CoA) for different reasons. Instead, bizarre event unfolded in the court room as the BCCI’s CFO Santosh Rangnekar accused BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary of issuing death threats.
The bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud has sought a reply from Chaudhary in two weeks. Chaudhary was in the court and denied saying such things after leaving the court. That the CFO had been threatened by him was brought up by the CoA.
The matter of accepting the BCCI draft constitution prepared by the CoA was deferred till the second week of January. During the hearing, Gopal Subramaniam, the amicus curiae, read out an email written by Rangnekar to CoA members Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri. In the mail, he alleged that Chaudhary, on January 21, threatened him for the first time in Mumbai. The biggest question is, why did Rangnekar bring this up nearly nine months after receiving the ‘first threat’. The other two incidents reportedly took place on October 6.
The mail written by Rangnekar on October 11, a copy of which is in possession of Express, reads, “HT (honorary treasurer) called me inside conference room (Cricket Centre, BCCI). He told me to switch off the mobile phone. Checked whether there is any camera in the conference room. Then said that FIR would be filed on CEO and CFO (myself) for misappropriation of funds ie because we used UBI account to run the BCCI’s operations for the period 2 Jan to 20 Jan 2017...HT said if I would have been in Haryana, by now I would have been evaporated. Know one knew whether I was there in the world ever (sic).”
Chaudhry, in fact, in a recent email to the CoA pointed out that Rangnekar had paid the BCCI lawyer a figure of `3.15 lakh twice. In his reply, the CFO stated it was a human error. Citing another instance in Hotel Maurya in New Delhi on October 6, Rangnekar wrote, “HT said that I should take potassium cynaide instead of solvine… HT made this comment with a smile – a death threat.” He states that BCCI employee Gaurav Vimani was also present. About the third instance, Rangnekar mentions, “HT also said he will finish me soon. Ab mera time aa gaya hai. Do one mistake and khalass karunga thumko. Bachke rahana (It is my time now. I will finish you. Be careful).”
Chaudhary said, “I am too shocked. These are blatant lies. This is the first time, sitting in the court, that I have heard about this. As directed by the court, I will file my reply. I have expressed my views on issues, including some financial matters, which probably have not been palatable to them.”