Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) CEO Rahul Johri has been cleared of sexual harassment allegations by the Committee of Administrators.
The CoA’s three-member probe panel, comprising former Delhi Commission of Women chairperson Barkha Singh and Lawyer-activist Veena Gowda, dismissed the allegations as ‘mischievous and fabricated’. J
ohri is now free to resume office but with a probability of ‘gender sensitivity counselling’ as suggested by Gowda, owing to his “inappropriate behaviour” with one of the complainants during the Champions Trophy in Birmingham. She, however, maintained there was no case of sexual harassment against Johri.
The three-member probe panel also comprised former Delhi Commission of Women chairperson Barkha Singh and lawyer-activist Veena Gowda.
Gowda recommended counselling for Johri owing to his “inappropriate behaviour” with one of the complainants during the ICC Champions Trophy in Birmingham.
She, however, maintained there is no case of sexual harassment against Johri.
The committee, which was formed on October 25, was given 15 days to complete the probe by the CoA. Its report would also be submitted to the Supreme Court.
CoA member Diana Edulji didn’t want the report to be published on Wednesday and demanded that she be given at least a few days to study it.
The first allegation against Johri was an anonymous e-mail accusing him of sexual misconduct, shared by a twitter handle, which later deleted the post. The accuser claimed to be an ex-colleague of Johri at a previous job.
There were subsequently two more allegations, one from a Singapore-based media professional and another woman, who worked with Johri in one of his previous organisations.
Both women deposed via Skype, along with BCCI’s former Anti-Corruption Unit chief Neeraj Kumar, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, IPL petitioner Aditya Verma, and former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi.
There were also allegations against Johri about inappropriate behaviour with a female employee of the BCCI.
Head of the probe committee Justice (Retd) Rakesh Sharma said, “The complainants have failed to provide their cases as set up by them…The allegations of sexual harassment in the office or elsewhere are false, baseless and have been fabricated and manufactured with an ulterior motive to harm Mr. Rahul Johri and throw him out of BCCI.”