CoA clears BCCI CEO Rahul Johri of sexual harassment charges

The probe committee brushed off the charges against Johri as ‘mischievous and fabricated’. The CoA report would now be submitted to the Supreme Court

CoA clears BCCI CEO Rahul Johri of sexual harassment charges

After three weeks of forced leave, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri has been cleared of sexual harassment charges by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).

The CoA probe panel consisting of former Delhi Commission of Women chairperson Barkha Singh and Lawyer-activist Veena Gowda dismissed the sexual harassment allegations and brushed them as ‘mischievous and fabricated’ charges. Thus, Johri is now free to resume office but with a probability of ‘gender sensitivity counseling’ as suggested by Gowda, in regard to one of the complaints of ‘inappropriate behaviour’.

Head of the probe committee Justice (Retd) Rakesh Sharma said,

The complainants have failed to provide their cases as set up by them…The allegations of sexual harassment in the office or elsewhere are false, baseless and have been fabricated and manufactured with an ulterior motive to harm Mr. Rahul Johri and throw him out of BCCI.”

On the other hand, the decision to clear Johri was not unanimous as Vinod Rai had voted for Johri joining back whereas Diana Edulji recommended resignation along with counseling. Also, Edulji was against releasing the reports as she wanted to read the but Rai decided otherwise.

The women who accused Johri of sexual harassment were deposed through a Skype call in a meeting attended by BCCI’s former Anti-Corruption Unit chief Neeraj Kumar, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, IPL Petitioner Aditya Verma, and former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi. Meanwhile, a fourth complainant, who accused Johri of inappropriate behaviour, did not turn up for deposition. Johri’s deposition, which took place towards the end of the probe, was spread over two days.

Now the CoA report that was completed in 15 days, would be submitted to the Supreme Court.

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