On Tuesday, the Supreme Court appointed Committee Of Administrators (CoA) has asked the independent panel appointed to investigate the sexual harassment charges against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri must declare the absence of any conflict of interest in its first meeting. However, it has been learned that a member of the Independent panel had to be replaced because of the said reason.
CoA chalked down the terms of reference for the three-member panel, in order to make them feel free to investigate all charges against Johri and would be open to hearing any “person who is desirous of placing any fact” in the matter.
Johri was alleged of sexual harassment in an anonymous social media post, which has since been deleted. He has denied the allegation in response to the show-cause notice issued by the COA. The appointed panel originally comprised former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, former Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson Barkha Singh and Former CBI Director P C Sharma.
However, Sharma will have to be replaced by advocate Veena Gowda after it came to light that one of his relatives was a BCCI employee. The first meeting of the committee will be held in Mumbai.
The three members of the committee would be paid ₹1.5 lakh per meeting and the Board’s former internal complaints committee head Karina Kriplani will be its contact person for any assistance required from the BCCI.
Kriplani has resigned from her position in the internal complaints committee but continues to be a legal advisor. The COA said that a public notice would be issued in the coming days. Talking about the same, CoA said, “The BCCI and all its office bearers/employees/consultants shall provide all assistance and co-operation to the Committee as it may require.”
Apart from the anonymous social media charge, former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi also claims to have information on Johri’s accused misconduct in the past.