Rahul Johri has submitted his explanation on October 20 in which he denied all accusations against him. @ AFP
Rahul Johri has submitted his explanation on October 20 in which he denied all accusations against him. @ AFP

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has been split right down the middle in handling alleged sexual harassment claims against its CEO Rahul Johri.

Chairman of the CoA Vinod Rai has prevented the immediate sacking of Johri as demanded by the other committee member, Diana Edulji. Rai said that Johri has given his explanation to the notice issued against him after an anonymous Twitter user accused him of sexual harassment at his previous organisation.

The CoA have formed a committee consisting of former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, who is the chairman, Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh and former CBI Director PC Sharma. The committee has been given 15 days to submit a report during which examinations of all the allegations will be done.

According to a report in PTI on Thursday, Edulji along seven other BCCI state associations wanted Johri to be sacked. The Twitter post revealing the accusations has now been deleted.

“In order to follow due process of law and principles of natural justice, an independent committee comprising of distinguished persons who are knowledgeable in this field should conduct a fair and transparent inquiry on an arm’s length basis and submit a report containing its findings and recommendation on the way forward,” the COA said in a statement on Thursday night.

Johri has submitted his explanation on October 20 in which he denied all accusations against him. The CoA had met on October 20 and 22 to discuss the matter.

“Diana Edulji, expressed her view that since the CEO has such grave sexual harassment allegations against him, it would not be in the interests of BCCI and Indian cricket that he represents BCCI. In view of this she suggested that he resign or his contract be terminated.

“The Chairman of the COA did not agree and felt that an independent inquiry was necessary as the tweet was anonymous,” the COA statement said.

Rai justified his stance and said that a probe has to be conducted as the accusation was made by an anonymous user on social media concerning Johri’s previous workplace.

“The Chairman was very clear that in similar instances, the person against whom allegations had been made, were permitted to represent their case before an independent committee which would then take a considered view after weighing all evidence,” the statement read.

“Ms Edulji informed the Chairman she would approach Learned Amicus Curiae Shri Gopal Subramanium for further guidance if no action is taken and the CEO is allowed to continue,” the COA statement added.