BCCI treasurer to testify before harassment investigation panel

Anirudh Chaudhry, the BCCI treasurer, will early next week appear in front of the committee investigating allegations of sexual harassment against chief executive Rahul Johri. Chaudhry - who wrote to the committee late on Friday, the deadline for those wishing to depose to reach out to the committee - is the first BCCI official to have come forward to testify before the committee.

Chaudhry is also believed to have suggested to the committee that all officials of the senior management in the BCCI from October 2017 to March 2018 should be interviewed. That timeline would include the period when an internal complaint was allegedly made against Johri. That complaint had first been alluded to by Aditya Verma, the whistleblower whose original litigation resulted in the Lodha reforms, in letters to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). The CoA has not acknowledged such a complaint.

Verma has also been invited to appear before the committee; he had complained of hostility from the committee in its first response to his offer to volunteer. ESPNcricinfo understands that Neeraj Kumar, former BCCI ACSU head and former commissioner of police, Delhi, has also deposed in front of the committee through a Skype call.

Last month, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had questioned the way the CoA was handling the case against Johri, only days after the CoA had announced the formation of the three-member committee.

The committee was formed after an anonymous post on Twitter during the #MeToo movement in India. The complaint, posted by a verified handle, accused Johri of alleged sexual misconduct in his previous employment. The CoA first gave Johri a week to explain himself, and then formed an independent three-person inquiry committee, which had to be reconstituted because of a conflict of interest. In his response to the CoA, Johri claimed no such incident occurred.

The committee comprises Rakesh Sharma, a former judge of the Allahabad High Court, women's rights lawyer Veena Gowda and Barkha Singh, former chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women.