Seven BCCI state associations have written to the Committee of Administrators (CoA) appointed by the Supreme Court and the heads of the office requesting them to immediately suspend the executive director of the board, Rahul Johri, pending an investigation into anonymous complaints of sexual harassment that arose fifteen days ago. They want the allegations to be investigated by an independent three-person panel, one of which must be nominated by state associations, incumbents and the CoA.
Hours after these letters were sent, the CoA announced that an independent panel will examine the allegations against Johri. There is no entry of the states in the constitution of the panel. The states, the general body of the BCCI, do not have powers to act until the new constitution is adopted as required by the Supreme Court and general elections are held. The CoA runs the BCCI until then.
The state associations are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. Two of them, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, also informed the CoA that Johri will not be allowed inside their facilities. The TNCA, for example, banned the investigation of Johri at the MA Chidambaram stadium.
Each of the letters, to which ESPNcricinfo agreed, expressed concern about the lack of transparency and due process in the handling of the matter and the lack of communication with BCCI stakeholders. They have expressed concern that the BCCI lawyers, with whom only Johri is entitled to deal, are not in a position to provide independent legal advice from the CoA on how to handle the allegations against Johri.
"Have the measures been taken and the procedure followed? Has the CoA or office holders been taken on this matter on the basis of legal advice?" Asked the Haryana Cricket Association. "Who has given the advice? Does Mr. Rahul Johri interact with these lawyers who have advised the CoA in this matter?" Because of the various instructions issued by the CoA, these lawyers do not essentially depend on the decisions of Mr. Rahul Johri. for some Would we like to see a copy of the lawyers' advice and their details and the number of cases and hearing dates on behalf of the BCCI in which Mr. Johri has interacted with them on
? members that the legal advice provided by lawyers in this matter is in the best interest of the organization rather than in the best interest of Mr. Johri? "How many times has Mr. Johri interacted with these lawyers by phone or mail? Ever since the allegations came to light? "
The anonymous tip against Johri appeared for the first time in a tweet on October 12, after which he was given a week.In January 2017, he had also received an email and anonymous phone to the BCCI, alleging "sexual harassment" by Johri in his previous job.
The letters from the state units state that the CoA response was not consistent with the manner in which El CoA dealt with other matters. Mohammed Shami's contract was withheld pending an investigation when his wife accused him of domestic violence. In October of 2017, the board "fired" Pune curator Pandurang Salgaoncar on a charge of correction of tone based on a covert operation, which does not allow any evidence in court, without investigation. In July 2018, an official of the Cricket Association of Uttar Pradesh was suspended immediately after a covert operation for bribery for his selection.
The state associations also filed another domestic complaint for alleged harassment, after which the plaintiff, a BCCI staff member, was transferred within the organization, which was reported in the media but not acknowledged or explained by the BCCI. These accusations appeared for the first time in letters written by the petitioner who originally brought the BCCI to the Supreme Court, Aditya Verma. The letters say that the accusations have not been discussed with the state units either.
The Saurashtra Cricket Association specifically referred to this case. Asked:
"a.Is there any truth in the accusations that an employee has complained of harassment? B. Did he become an employee to write an apology letter? C. Did the employee who complained about harassment to write a letter indicating that everything was fine? d) If there is any truth in the set of facts, what was the procedure adopted by the head of the office / CoA / Administration in this matter? "
OK It is worth noting that the BCCI The Internal Complaints Committee was created two months after this alleged incident, in April of this year. In the absence of such a committee, such matters are referred to the Local Complaints Committee under the administration of the district.