Inquiry committee submits report on Rahul Johri, next step unclear

3:25 AM ETNagraj GollapudiDeputy editor at ESPNcricinfo FacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailprint

The Inquiry Committee appointed to probe charges of sexual harassment against BCCI’s chief executive officer Rahul Johri has submitted its findings in a sealed envelope to the committee of administrators (CoA) on Wednesday morning. A decision on the findings is likely to be taken soon, possibly even by the end of the day.

Immediately after submitting its findings, the three person inquiry committee, comprising Justice Rakesh Sharma (retired judge of Allahabad High Court), Barkha Singh (former head of the Delhi Commission for Women) and Veena Gowda (human rights activist and lawyer), sat down in a meeting with the two-person CoA headed by Vinod Rai (former Comptroller & Auditor General of India) and including former India women’s captain Diana Edulji.

It is understood that the executive summary of the Inquiry Committee’s report will be made public but what happens next is not clear. Till last week there was ambiguity over how the COA would treat the verdict of the committee, whatever the majority result, and whether it would accept or debate it. However, it remains to be seen if both Rai and Edulji would be on the same page if the majority verdict did not find Johri guilty. ESPNcricinfo understands that Edulji, who was not originally not in favour of appointing the inquiry committee, was keen to study the findings and not readily accept them as the final word.

It was Edulji who wanted Johri to be removed as soon as an allegation of sexual harassment against him surfaced on October 12 on Twitter as part of the #metoo movement. Rai favoured Johri being given the time to have his say and he was given a week to respond against that original charge. Johri denied any wrongdoing in his response, which led to the appointment of the inquiry committee.

The committee – whose original deadline was November 15 – had heard the testimony of several people, including Johri. Also deposing were two women who live overseas and testified via Skype. It is understood that one of the women complainants alleged misconduct while she was Johri’s colleague at a previous media organisation, while the alleged incident with the second woman took place overseas during his tenure as BCCI CEO.