#MeToo

Originating in India in Bollywood, after actress Tanushree Dutta accused Bollywood legend and veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment on the sets of her movie, the #MeToo movement has hit the cricketing world. Several public figures like BJP politician MJ Akbar and director Sajid Khan have also been accused.

The first accusation in the cricketing world was against BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, who was called out by an anonymous account on social media on account of sexual harassment. On Saturday, the Committee of Administrators (CoA), appointed by the Supreme Court, sought an explanation from Johri regarding the charge, though not mentioning any time frame for the course of action.

The charges

The charges surfaced on Twitter by an author by the name of Harnidh Kaur, who stated that she did not want her name to be used anywhere or even for the charges to be published. She claimed that she was an employee of the Discovery Channel when the incident happened.

Johri is the first CEO of BCCI, after it underwent a massive revamping project, post the Lodha Committee recommendations. Johri worked in various capacities with the Discovery Channel from 2001 to 2016, before taking up charge of the BCCI. The tweet was furnished with screenshots bringing to light, the details of the incident.

Though this incident does not relate to BCCI, the CoA thought it necessary to look into the matter as Johri is currently engaged with BCCI. The CoA stated that Johri has been given a week’s time to present an explanation to the committee. The future course of action will depend on the explanation presented.

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The repercussions

Johri is supposed to represent the BCCI in Singapore for the ICC Chief Executive Committee meeting between October 17th and 18th. The CoA said that Johri can attend, as his functional powers will remain untouched till a legal team analyses the report submitted by Johri.

As of now, Johri was has been forcefully pulled out of the Singapore meeting after the CoA refused to give him more time to draw up his explanatory report. Johri had apparently asked for 14 days to draw up his explanation, as he needed to consult his legal time but was also due to go to Singapore.

The CoA simply did not want to let this issue wait as BCCI’s reputation is on the line. Vinod Rai stated that Johri was exempted from the meeting so he could focus on meeting his legal team. BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary will be replacing Johri and will represent BCCI in Singapore, according to CoA chief Vinod Rai.