Rahul Johri gets clean chit in sexual harassment case, to remain BCCI CEO
Independent committee acquits BCCI CEO of sexual harassment charges as the Committee of Administrators stands divided
Rahul Johri's eagerness to resume BCCI duty after 40 days as its CEO seemed palpable yesterday. The three-member independent probe panel dropped charges of sexual harassment against Johri, who was sent on leave from October 16 as soon as allegations of misconduct surfaced against him through an anonymous social media account. Two other similar cases came up as well.
Johri, flanked with his wife Seema and son, made a dash to the BCCI headquarters at D Road, Churchgate as soon as the Committee of Administrators (CoA) left after making the decision public on the cricket board's website. Johri was welcomed with a tight hug from the Chief Financial Officer Santosh Rangnekar.
Johri was naturally relieved with the verdict coming in his favour. "I am really grateful for the unflinching support of my close family and friends. We were always confident that the truth will emerge. We are extremely relieved and grateful. It was the most traumatic 40 days for my family," Johri said.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and his wife Seema pose for a photograph at the Indian cricket board's head office in Churchgate yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
'Have been a thorough pro'
"I have been a thorough professional all my life. There has never ever been any allegation against me. And all the three members of the independent probe panel are unanimous in dropping all charges," Johri added.
While two members of the probe panel [chairman retired Justice Rakesh Sharma and Barkha Singh, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women] felt the allegations of sexual harassment in the office or elsewhere were "false, baseless and have been fabricated and manufactured with an ulterior motive", activist Veena Gowda, the third member on the panel, recommended that Johri, "must undergo some form of gender sensitivity counselling/ training." Her observation was based on the conduct of Johri in Birmingham.
CoA, a divided panel
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) remained divided once again with Vinod Rai wanting Johri to resume office while Diana Edulji sticking to her stand that the BCCI CEO should tender resignation for harming BCCI's image.
"Since there is no consensus between the two members of the Committee of Administrators regarding what action should be taken against Rahul Johri, the Chairman [Rai] stated that the natural consequence would be that Johri continues as the CEO of BCCI and is entitled resume office," the report stated. Johri was unperturbed with CoA being a divided house. "My job is to do administrative work and that is what I will be focussed on," he said.
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