As per the recent reports of CNN-News18, another case of sexual harassment against BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri has been raised. The reports suggested that Johri has been accused by a woman of asking for sexual favors earlier this year while serving as BCCI CEO.
The anonymous victim has been reported to have sent a complaint to CoA member Diana Edulji. She had earlier approached former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi, who is a friend of hers, with details of the incident and Hattangadi says he is ready to testify before the committee formed to consider the accusations against Johri. According to the press release on Thursday, the CoA had announced the formation of a three-member independent committee to investigate the anonymous complaint posted on Twitter earlier this month, which is from a time period before Johri took on his current role at BCCI.
As quoted in CNN-News18, Hattangadi said, “There have been murmurs against the behavior of Rahul Johri, I personally haven’t met or interacted with him. I was asked for advice from a lady who is a friend of mine, I advised her to speak to the members of CoA and write a letter to them. I respect the person who confided in me and will not reveal her name but I feel she has a very good reason to file a complaint. The letter describes what happened in the situation. It’s a detailed description of the pressure she faced, now it’s up to the committee to decide the course of action. He’s (Johri) using his position and I feel it’s time for the CoA to take the tough decision.”
The latest accusations only mean that the pressure on the CEO is going to increase. The independent committee itself was formed despite the protests of Edulji who had demanded Johri’s resignation or termination of the contract on the basis of the earlier complaint. CoA chief Vinod Rai though favored the appointment of the committee in order “to follow due process of law and principles of natural justice.”
This most recent complaint makes this the third such instance to come to light involving Johri. Earlier this year, the Telegraph Newspaper reported that the complainant had “resigned” from her role but had been “persuaded” by Rai to take it back. Johri is said to have given a “written apology” but the report said this wasn’t confirmed.
It is unclear if the three-member panel consisting of Justice Rakesh Sharma, a former judge in the Allahabad High Court, Ms. Barkha Singh, former Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women and P. C. Sharma, former CBI Director, will take cognizance of these latest allegations. CNN-News 18 made repeated attempts to contact Edulji but did not receive a response.
Seven state associations – Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka – have written to the CoA calling for action against Rahul Johri. In fact, the state associations of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have also refused Johri from entering their premises until his name is cleared by an independent panel, which was constituted after their letters were sent.