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Deponents Lash Out at ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict as Rahul Johri Resumes Charge as BCCI CEO

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 22, 2018, 11:51 AM IST
Deponents Lash Out at ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict as Rahul Johri Resumes Charge as BCCI CEO

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri (Getty Images)

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BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry has rejected claims that since BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has been found ‘not guilty’ of charges of sexual harassment by a three-member probe panel, it implies that he has been given a ‘clean chit’ in the case. Chaudhry was among those who deposed in front of the panel and believes the very fact that Diana Edulji, a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) has publicly disagreed with the findings of the panel, Johri cannot claim to be in the clear.

“This is clearly not a clean chit as is being propagated by a section of officials,” Chaudhry said in a statement. “This cannot be willed away by someone just because one may be in a position of authority. We cannot lose sight of the fact that one member of CoA — i.e. 50% of CoA — believes this to be serious enough to make the position of the CEO untenable.”

Not only did the panel clear Johri, the charges against him were rejected as "mischievous and fabricated."

Strikingly though, one member of the panel, lawyer-activist Veena Gowda made a recommendation that Johri should undergo “some form of gender sensitivity counselling/ training” while also noting that Johri’s conduct in Birmingham during the 2017 Champions Trophy was “unprofessional and inappropriate”, adding this would “adversely affect the BCCI’s reputation and the same has to be looked at by the concerned authorities.”

Former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi, who deposed on behalf of one of the complainants told the Tribune Newspaper that he was “shocked” at the verdict.

“It is obviously a divided house (at inquiry committee),” he said. “It is two people saying all things bright and beautiful and the third person saying he needs therapy and that his behaviour was unbecoming of a CEO.

“I only deposed on behalf of somebody I believed in, but this actually is an insult to all the ladies who deposed, calling it (allegations) mischievous. If they (Justice Sharma and Singh) are calling it mischievous, then the third person (Gowda) must also have an opinion which is very close to it, if not the same. But her opinion is complete antithesis of what they are saying.”

One of the complainants against Johri, who deposed before the panel, took to Twitter to express her outrage at the verdict, alleging that the process was “rigged” but ruling out that she will take the legal route to pursue the matter further.

Meanwhile, Johri it is learnt, has resumed his duties as BCCI CEO.
First Published: November 22, 2018, 11:25 AM IST
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