The BCCI CEO Rahul Johri was accused of sexual harassment a few days ago. The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has formed a 3-member panel that will now investigate the allegations against him. The panel has been asked to submit its report in the next 15 days. In the meantime, Johri will continue to be on leave.
The 3 members of the panel are – Justice Rakesh Sharma, a former judge at the Allahabad High Court, PC Sharma, who has served as the Director in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and Barkha Singh, former chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women.
BCCI’s media release“CoA met on October 20 and 22 to consider the matter. The Chairman of the COA felt that in order to follow due process of law and principles of natural justice, an independent committee comprising of distinguished persons who are knowledgeable in this field should conduct a fair and transparent inquiry on an arm’s length basis and submit a report containing its findings and recommendation on the way forward. The independent committee could take into account and/or probe all allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Johri while he was employed with the BCCI.“However, the other member of the COA, Diana Edulji, expressed her view that since the CEO has such grave sexual harassment allegations against him, it would not be in the interests of BCCI and Indian cricket that he represents BCCI. In view of this she suggested that he resigns or his contract be terminated.“The Chairman of the COA did not agree and felt that an independent inquiry was necessary as the tweet was anonymous. It also pertained to a period much before the CEO joined BCCI and it was necessary to provide natural justice to the CEO by following a due process of law. The Chairman was very clear that in similar instances, the person against whom allegations had been made, were permitted to represent their case before an independent committee which would then take a considered view after weighing all evidence. Edulji felt that neither is such an inquiry called for nor is it appropriate. She was of the view that considering the details and nature of the allegation, there were sufficient grounds for his removal. Ms Edulji informed the Chairman she would approach Learned Amicus Curiae Shri Gopal Subramanium for further guidance if no action is taken and the CEO is allowed to continue.”
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