Campaign India Team
Oct 30, 2018

#MeToo: Independent committee set up for Rahul Johri inquiry

He will continue to be on leave till the committee submits its report and the same is acted upon

#MeToo: Independent committee set up for Rahul Johri inquiry
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has set up an independent committee to address the allegations under its current CEO, Rahul Johri. The committee will take into account and/or probe all allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Johri while he was employed with the BCCI.
 
Johri was initially accused of sexually harassing a woman in the pretext of a job interview while he was at Discovery. He was EVP and GM, South Asia for Discovery Networks Asia Pacific. Post this, according to news reports, a complaint against him during his tenure at BCCI was also made.
 
The original panel consisted of:
1. Justice Rakesh Sharma (former Judge, Allahabad High Court);
2. Smt. Barkha Singh (former Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women); and
3. Shri P. C. Sharma, IPS (Retd.) (former Director, CBI).
 
Veena Gowda, an advocate and external member of the BCCI committee, has replaced PC Sharma in the panel after the recusal of the latter. The first meeting will take place at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
 
Here's BCCI's statement:
 
There were reports in the media concerning allegations of sexual harassment made against Mr. Rahul Johri, the CEO of BCCI, by an anonymous person. Taking cognizance of the media reports the Committee of Administrators sought an explanation from Mr. Johri with regard to the said allegations. He was granted a week to respond. Mr. Johri submitted his explanation on 20th October 2018 denying that the incident referred to in the allegations ever took place.
 
The Hon’ble Supreme Court Appointed Committee of Administrators (“COA”) met on 20th and 22nd October 2018 to consider the matter. The Chairman of the COA felt that 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 independent committee could take into account and/or probe all allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Johri while he was employed with the BCCI.
 
However, the other member of the COA, Ms. 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 resigns 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. It also pertained to a period much before the CEO joined BCCI and it was necessary to provide natural justice to the CEO by following a due process of law. 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. Ms. Edulji felt that neither is such an inquiry called for nor is it appropriate. She was of the view that considering the details and nature of the allegation, there were sufficient grounds for his removal. 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. 
 
After taking legal advice as well as soliciting view-points from other relevant quarters, the proposed members of independent committee were contacted for their consent. All three proposed members have now given their consent to be part of the independent committee. 
 
In the above circumstances, in order to enable a transparent and objective enquiry an independent committee comprising of the following distinguished persons is being constituted to inquire into the allegations against Mr. Johri:
 
1. Justice Rakesh Sharma (former Judge, Allahabad High Court);
2. Smt. Barkha Singh (former Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women); and
3. Shri P. C. Sharma, IPS (Retd.) (former Director, CBI).
 
Justice Rakesh Sharma (Retd.) shall be the Chairman of the committee. The independent committee may take into account and/or probe all allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Johri while he was employed with the BCCI. All facts and aforesaid alleged transgressions, may be placed before the committee. The committee will be free to seek any record or evidence that it desires. Any person desiring to place any fact before the committee is also free to do so.
 
The said independent committee is being requested to submit its report containing its findings and recommendations within 15 days. Mr. Johri will continue to remain on leave until the above independent committee submits its report and the same is acted upon. 
 
Also read:
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Source:
Campaign India

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