Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma on Friday wrote to senior advocate PS Narsimha, assisting the Supreme Court in BCCI matter as amicus curiae, criticising the sexual harassment probe against Board’s CEO Rahul Johri.
Verma’s letter was against the Committer of Administrators’ findings from the probe panel, giving clean chit Johri in sexual harassment allegations that emerged during the #MeToo movement late last year.
A three-member probe committee, set up by the CoA, headed by retired Justice Rakesh Sharma, had cleared Johri of allegations levelled by at least two women in November last year.
The CAB secretary, in his letter, has alleged that the BCCI swept the matter against CEO Johri “under the carpet” and said that the complainants feel “cheated” and their feelings have aggravated due to the clean chit and moreover, the copy of the report has not been given to them.
“The BCCI has swept the matter of sexual harassment against Rahul Johri under the carpet. The circumstances clearly show that it is a case where an effort has been made to exonerate Johri.
“As a result, the complainants feel cheated and this is feeling has been aggravated because they have not even given a copy of the report of the ‘independent committee’ constituted by Vinod Rai (BCCI Chairman) to inquire into all matters of sexual harassment against Johri,” he said, adding that the probe panel was not validly set up as only one member (Vinod Rai) had done it.
CoA had on November 21 last year cleared Johri of allegations and dismissed the charges levelled by at least two women as “mischievous and fabricated”.
“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...,” the probe committee had stated in its findings.
The three-member probe panel also comprised former Delhi Commission of Women chairperson Barkha Singh and lawyer-activist Veena Gowda. Gowda recommended counselling for Johri owing to his “inappropriate behaviour” with one of the complainants during the Champions Trophy in Birmingham.
The two-member CoA (then) was divided on the issue. While Chairman Vinod Rai approved of Johri joining back, Diana Edulji demanded his resignation on the basis of some recommendations, including counselling.