Inquiry committee seeks more time to arrive at Johri verdict

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri at a press conference Sajjad Hussain/AFP

The inquiry committee probing allegations of sexual harrassment against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has sought more time to finish its investigation. The inquiry committee was originally given a fortnight to complete its probe by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), with the deadline ending today.

However, the inquiry committee - comprising Rakesh Sharma (retired judge of Allahabad High Court), Barkha Singh (former chairperson of the Delhi Women's Commission) and Veena Gowda (women's rights lawyer) - wrote to the CoA on Thurday seeking more time, saying it would finish the probe at the earliest. The CoA has approved the request with no specific deadline.

ESPNcricnfo understands that one reason the committee has sought more time could be because it has not yet sent the transcripts to everyone who deposed before it in the past week. It is understood that those who have not yet received the transcripts include the two women complainants, both of whom reside overseas. Both women, who are not with BCCI, testified over Skype in the last week.

The others that testified include former Mumbai captain Shishir Hattangadi, CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, and whistleblower Aditya Verma and his legal counsel Sanjeev Mishra. Johri was the last person to be face the inquiry committee and his deposition stretched to two days.

Once it finalises the transcripts, the three-person inquiry committee will evaluate the depositions and all evidence put in front of it before arriving at a conclusion. It is understood the CoA will ask Johri to resign if the verdict of the inquiry committee is unanimous or a majority one, with no confirmation over how the dissenting view will be managed.

Johri was appointed as BCCI's first CEO in June 2016 with his contract lasting until May 2021. In case Johri is found guilty by the inquiry committee and is asked to resign, the BCCI will appoint an interim CEO. A new CEO will only be appointed once the BCCI elects its fresh general body and apex council post elections.