BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary

COA was careless in handling Johri’s #MeToo fiasco: Amitabh Choudhary

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2018 21:18 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 27 (ANI): Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary lashed out at the Committee of Administrators (COA) for ‘improper’ handling of the alleged sexual harassment allegations made against BCCI chief executive officer (CEO) Rahul Johri.
Without mentioning Johri’s name in a letter that was addressed to the COA, Choudhary wrote, “Media reports reveal that the matter of sexual harassment has been dealt in cavalier manner. If there had been any doubt about it, the same was removed with the media release, strangely sent out after much of India had gone to sleep. From the very beginning, the actions of COA did not inspire confidence, beginning with the fact that it took upon itself the task of adjudicating the matter when the matter should have justifiably been referred there and then to an independent committee, duly constituted. And then days of inaction even upon the submission of the so called explanation, ostensibly trying to take a view in the matter.”
He stated that an independent panel should have been constituted to probe the matter. He also opined that the Chairman has limited powers, and he cannot use authority at his whim while overshadowing the suggestions of other members of the COA as there have been glaring instances of such single-man decisiveness.
“The Committee of Administrators was constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as a four member body. One of the COA members was made the chairman to convene its meetings and preside over them. The position of the Chairman was only that of first among equals and no additional or superior powers had or have been conferred upon the Chairman by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Presently, the committee comprises two members and both members are equal in status for all purposes. That being so, the learned Chairman has no power or authority to prevail over the views of the other esteemed member and take decisions unilaterally on behalf of the CoA or on behalf of the BCCI," the letter read.
"The media advisory issued by the BCCI clearly lay down that one member of the COA was decisive in the matter that there was enough material warranting strict action against the CEO. The learned Chairman, on the other hand, decided to have further inquiries. The media release says a committee comprising three persons will look into the matter without informing how the committee was constituted or who chose its members. In view of the admitted position of one member completely disagreeing with the Chairman, the esteemed member could hardly have had anything to do with the constitution of the three member enquiry committee. This makes the enquiry committee further suspect,” he further wrote.
Chaudhary raised questions on the validity of the panel. “In view of the clear divergence of views of the two members of the COA, the only recourse available was to refer the issue to either the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India or to the General Body. Interestingly, two of this three member enquiry committee are disqualified in terms of the limitation of 70 years of age, laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated August 9, 2018. A committee stricken with such infirmities from its inception is hardly expected to dispense any real justice and is bound to be seen with great suspicion. The undersigned most humbly desires that a solution be immediately be found in view of the points noted above,” he concluded. (ANI)

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