After several members of the top brass of Indian cricket's administration were deposed over the allegations of sexual harassment against BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, the alleged perpetrator Johri himself was deposed on Tuesday before the three-member panel appointed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA).
The three-member inquiry commission comprising former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, former Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh and lawyer Veena Gowda had earlier taken the statements of BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, former Mumbai cricketer and captain, Shishir Hattangadi and Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma.
The CoA duo of Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji had also presented their sides of the incident before the three-member panel.
There has been speculation that Johri was perhaps being investigated for two separate incidents of harassment, with the second offence being committed against a BCCI employee and the first against a colleague in his previous workplace.
It has now come to light that along with Johri, the two alleged victims were also deposed before the panel but the dates for the alleged victims' deposition could not be confirmed.
"Yes, Rahul appeared before the panel in person before the probe panel. Since two of the alleged victims have already deposed along with COA members and one of the principal office-bearer (treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary), only CEO was left," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"One of the alleged victims deposed before the panel via Skype. The other was the latest complainant. However, I won't be able to confirm whether she appeared in person or deposed via video conferencing," the official said.
The investigation against Johri may indeed be for two separate incidents.
The first allegation against Johri had come to light when an author, Harnidh Kaur, shared an incident involving an unnamed person who claimed to be Johri's colleague from his stint at the Discovery Channel.
Johri worked for the Discovery Channel for 15 years till 2016 before becoming the first ever CEO of the BCCI as it underwent an administrative revamp owing to the Lodha Committee recommendations.
The three-member inquiry commission is expected to submit its report to the CoA on November 15 but there also remains a possibility that the panel may seek more time for the investigation.