CHENNAI : Rahul Johri’s position as the CEO of the BCCI is getting increasingly untenable as acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary hit out at the Committee of Administrators (CoA), especially its head Vinod Rai for the handling of the issue. Choudhary has also raised suspicions about the independent committee formed to probe the allegations of sexual harassment against Johri as the decision to form one was not unanimous.
Choudhary has also wondered why the statement issued by CoA on Thursday was put out late in the evening. Questioning why it took so long for the CoA to form an independent committee, Choudhary in the mail, accessed by Express, wrote: “From the very beginning, the actions of CoA did not inspire confidence, beginning with the fact that it took upon itself the task of adjudicating the matter when the matter should have justifiably been referred there and then to an independent committee, duly constituted. And then days of inaction even upon the submission of the so-called explanation, ostensibly trying to take a view in the matter.”
On Friday, there was another complaint made against Johri and Karina Kripalani, the head of BCCI’s Internal Complaints Committee resigned from her post. Though the latter’s decision might not have had anything related to Johri, it only raises further questions about the manner in which Rai has handed the issue.
That Diana Edulji was against forming an independent committee and wanted Johri to tender his resignation or be sacked, highlighted how the two members of the CoA are poles apart on the issue. Mentioning this, Choudhary asked, how come Rai has taken the decision to form an independent committee on his own without the approval of Edulji.
“CoA was constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as a four member body and one of the members of the said committee was made the chairman to convene its meetings and preside over them. The position of the chairman was only that of first among equals and no additional or superior powers had or have been conferred upon the chairman by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Presently, the committee comprises two members and both members are equal in status for all purposes. That being so, the learned chairman has no power or authority to prevail over the views of the other esteemed member and take decisions unilaterally on behalf of the CoA or on behalf of the BCCI,” Choudhary wrote.
Choudhary, further stated that with Rai and Edulji not being on the same page, the matter should have been referred to the Supreme Court or to the general body of the BCCI. He also hinted that the independent committee might not dispense real justice given it was handpicked by Rai and Edulji was not involved in the decision making.
“In view of the clear divergence of views of the two members of the CoA, the only recourse available was to refer the issue to either the Supreme Court of India or to the general body. Interestingly, two of this three member enquiry (inquiry) committee are disqualified in terms of the limitation of 70 years of age, laid down by the hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 09.08.2018. A committee stricken with such infirmities from its inception is hardly expected to dispense any real justice and is bound to be seen with great suspicion.”