‘Will finish you,’ CEO Rahul Johri’s affidavit in SC alleges BCCI’s ugly side
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court alleging how the cricket Board’s treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry threatened to ‘finish off’ its CFO Santosh Rangnekarcricket Updated: Jan 28, 2018 15:39 IST
For the romantic, the Indian cricket team may be fighting its way to a gallant victory on a difficult pitch in Johannesburg and KL Rahul and Manish Pandey winning mega bucks in the IPL auction, but deep inside the Board of Control for Cricket in India there are horror fights that is threatening the survival of two of its senior-most paid officials. (IPL AUCTION 2018 LIVE)
In a dramatic turn of events, the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India have filed affidavits in the Supreme Court against the BCCI treasurer’s behaviour, contending that it is affecting work in the cricket’s headquarters in Mumbai.
CEO Rahul Johri and CFO Santosh Rangnekar filed separate affidavits in the Supreme Court earlier this week. Both eloquently alleged how treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry’s intimidating behaviour in January and October last year had left them scarred. Johri and Rangnekar’s grievances, that clearly hint at how political clout and muscle power are at work, are complete with all emails exchanged among the officials.
The matter is coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday. Chaudhry said the charges against him are “false”. “The matter is now in court and if I am asked to, we will file a reply,” he said.
Johri and Rangnekar have pointed out that Chaudhry has been a major hurdle in the implementation of the reforms proposed by the RM Lodha panel. In July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court had made the reforms binding on the BCCI and constituted a Committee of Administrators in January 2017 to execute them.
Among several things related to operating the BCCI’s bank account, Johri’s affidavit points to growing animosity between the CFO and the treasurer, who had lost the authority to be a signatory on the directive of the Supreme Court-appointed RM Lodha committee.
Johri narrates how Chaudhry had told Rangnekar that “he was planning to file an FIR against the CFO and CEO for misappropriating BCCI’s funds by making payments to vendors from the imprest account maintained by BCCI with Union Bank, Nariman Point branch.”
The affidavit adds that “the treasurer had told the CFO that even if the FIR ultimately turned out to be false or was rejected by the court, the CFO’s life for the next two years would be totally finished by that time.” Chaudhry clarified that he had never filed such an FIR.
THREAT ON LIFE
It alleges Chaudhry had threatened the CFO saying “if he had been in Haryana, the CFO would have evaporated by now and no one would have ever known of his existence.” Chaudhry, the son of former BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, had denied the allegations in court.
Johri says Chaudhry went to the extent of telling the CFO to “have potassium cyanide” and “finish him” if Rangnekar made even one mistake.
The CEO and CFO have appealed to the Supreme Court that the delay in implementation of the Lodha reforms has allowed officials like Chaudhry thrive in India’s cricket administration.
Recently, several BCCI units met in Mumbai to discuss the pros and cons of accepting the Lodha reforms that mandates age and tenure caps, one-state-one-vote and the formation of a powerful apex council. The unofficial meeting was convened by ‘acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
It is not clear what the meeting tried to achieve apart from the fact that at least four state units, including Kerala, had written letters to the ‘acting’ secretary raising objections against the Lodha reforms. Kerala later ‘withdrew’ that letter because it was pointed out to them that Kerala had already submitted an affidavit in court agreeing to abide by the Lodha reforms.
The BCCI continues to be run by “acting” officials and the Committee of Administrators (reduced to a two-member body from the original four) are unable to take balanced decisions due to the vested interests of certain officials. The extension of two paid officials had recently raised a storm in the fractured BCCI.
Worried about their lives and the professional management of BCCI, Johri and Rangnekar have appealed to the Supreme Court to make boorish BCCI officials fall in line.