'Rahul Johri as BCCI representative before ombudsman unethical'

Few BCCI officials have questioned Rahul Johri being the board's representative when Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman depose before the ombudsman on May 14.

Rahul Johri continued in his role as BCCI CEO after the probe panel dropped the allegations against him.   -  Vivek Bendre

Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman are set to depose in front of BCCI Ombudsman D.K. Jain on May 14 for their alleged “tractable” conflict of interest matter. However, what has seen the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials raise eyebrows is CEO Rahul Johri representing the board in the matter.

While, BCCI executives have justified Johri’s presence citing that the board is a party to the case as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) is a sub-committee of the BCCI and the CEO represents the board.

However, few senior officials are unhappy of him being the board's representative, because they feel that Johri’s own position is under the scanner with the Supreme Court to hear in July the plea filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar regarding charges of sexual harassment against him.

READ| Sachin Tendulkar rejects BCCI 'conflict of interest' observation

“Why does Johri need to be the one going to the ethics officer/ombudsman for the BCCI all the time? It must be noted that the decision on the proceedings relating to sexual harassment was a stalemate in the CoA. The CoA cannot decide his matter anymore and it would only be the ombudsman who would hear and decide on his matter, unless the Supreme Court orders an independent inquiry.

“It is ethically and morally incorrect for him to be the conduit of the BCCI to the ethics officer and now an application in this regard would also be heard by the Supreme Court very soon. It is unfortunate that things are going from bad to worse,” the official said.

In fact, the official found support from a BCCI functionary who said that it brings forward a situation wherein if and when Johri’s own case comes to the ombudsman, the CEO could be at an advantage.

“The doubt has merit. The CEO’s own position is still not clear and to have him represent the BCCI and meet the ombudsman might be someone’s way to encourage familiarity. Just sending documents for reference to the ombudsman was enough and you did not need physical presence. In fact, if I am correct, the matter was also discussed in the CoA meeting in the capital,” the functionary said.