The disagreement between the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji is costing KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya dearly, as there has been no date fixed for their inquiry after the duo was suspended for their crass remarks on talk show Koffee with Karan.
While Vinod Rai wants cricket board chief executive Rahul Johri to commence the inquiry; Edulji is opposed to it and wants BCCI office-bearers to be part of the process instead.
With the two members of Supreme Court appointed CoA bickering over the process, the state associations have asked the acting secretary to call for an SGM to appoint an Ombudsman to look into the controversy.
A senior board functionary told Hindustan Times: “As you are aware, two players contracted with the BCCI have been suspended pending inquiry. The adjudication of the same would require the appointment of an Ombudsman who can only be appointed by the General Body of the BCCI. It therefore becomes necessary to requisition a General Body meeting of the BCCI for the specific purpose of appointing an Ombudsman.”
CoA chief Vinod Rai though made his position clear through a letter, accessed by Hindustan Times, to Diana Edulji, which said, “In my view, the COA is duty bound to follow the new constitution and what you are suggesting is neither in consonance with the constitution nor is it as per the legal advice received. It cannot be the case that we follow legal advice only when we consider it, “justifiable”. I can’t be party to this decision and process. In the circumstances , please go ahead with your suggestion. You and AS (acting secretary) please conduct the inquiry. I cannot be a party to such an inquiry as I will not go against a Supreme Court direction/constitution. Also please note that since you do not want to follow the suggestion of legal to have an ‘ad hoc ombudsman your suggestion runs the risk of your committee being ‘judge, jury and executioner’. Please go ahead and take it forward. I will keep away and leave it to you.”
in reply, Edulji wrote: “COA can’t be duty bound in selected matters and that’s what I have been highlighting all through, that we should act as per the rules and regulations being the new constitution at all times. Your point of not going against a Supreme Court direction/constitution is what I have been time and again warning about as you have acted against the Supreme Court direction/constitution in the matter of Women’s team Head Coach where a committee was appointed inspite of CAC being there and also in the case of sexual harassment matter of CEO Rahul Johri, you unilaterally appointed the independent committee. Your point of “your committee being ‘judge, jury and executioner” is exactly what you followed and did in the sexual harassment case, which I had opposed and you took the decisions unilaterally.”
She wrote, “My point of having a legal view in players matter was only to take a informed and correct decision. As there is no provision for appointment of an ad hoc ombudsman as per the new constitution we cannot go ahead with that. As the SC hearing is scheduled for 17th Jan, let the court be informed about this situation and let an Ombudsman be appointed by the court instead of taking a wrong step of appointing the ad hoc ombudsman, which is not as per the new constitution.”
Both KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya have been suspended from Team India pending the inquiry and have been replaced by Vijay Shankar and Shubman Gill for the remaining matches of the Australia and New Zealand limited overs tours.
(with hindustantimes.com inputs)