File image of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
File image of BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry shocked by CoA chief Vinod Rai’s handling of Rahul Johri probe report

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Anirudh made it clear that the effort of deposing before the independent probe panel made no sense if all the decisions would be unilaterally taken by CoA chief Vinod Rai. He is surprised that Rai decided to ignore Edulji’s concern and asked Johri to resume duty.
By Baidurjo Bhose | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 22, 2018 09:13 AM IST

BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry is shocked by the manner in which the whole Rahul Johri episode has been handled by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai. The BCCI on Wednesday dismissed the sexual harassment allegations against the CEO and Rai asked Johri to resume duties even after CoA co-member Diana Edulji wanted Johri to resign. While the treasurer has nothing against the CEO, Anirudh feels that the image of the board is paramount and this action of Rai sets a bad precedent.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Anirudh made it clear that the effort of deposing before the panel — Justice (Retd) Rakesh Sharma, Barkha Singh and Veena Gowda — made no sense if all the decisions would be unilaterally taken by Rai. He is surprised that Rai decided to ignore Edulji’s concern and asked Johri to resume duty.

“This is extremely shocking to say the least and this cannot be willed away by someone just because one may be in a position of authority. What makes it even more serious is that the time period referred to is one where the Supreme Court was monitoring the administration of the BCCI through the CoA. We cannot lose sight of the fact one member of the CoA i.e. 50% of the CoA appointed by the SC believes this to be serious enough to make the position of the CEO untenable in an organisation such as the BCCI.

ALSO READ: BCCI CoA divided after probe panel dismisses sexual harassment allegations against CEO Rahul Johri

“This is clearly not a clean chit as is being propagated by a section of officials. Veena Gowda, a member of the inquiry committee has observed that the conduct of Johri at Birmingham, as a CEO of an institution such as BCCI is unprofessional and inappropriate which would adversely affect its reputation and the same has to be looked at by the concerned authorities,” he said.

Anirudh went on to add that the image of any individual working for the board cannot be bigger than the image of the BCCI. “The image of the board is very important and this has been often repeated. It is also true that the perception needs to be based on the truth and not on the merits of a PR agency. What we have here is clearly a split verdict by the inquiry committee. I don’t see that as a reason to be happy as far as the BCCI as an organisation is concerned,” he said.

Another BCCI official echoed the sentiments and questioned the decision of the chief of the three-member panel — Justice Rakesh Sharma — to call the complaints against Johri false and baseless.

ALSO READ: Rahul Johri case: Testimony sans video/audio recording surprises deponents

“One may understand that two members of the committee felt that there was not sufficient evidence for a decision in whatever framework or terms that they were working within, but at the same time, no reason has been given to hold that the the complaints were fictitious, malafide, false etc. That to me appears to be very lopsided.

“Was the task to investigate the allegations against Johri or was the task to investigate the complainants? The comments of the two members of the committee actually raise many more questions. I think the time has come to make the report public,” he told Hindustan Times.

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