Pandya-Rahul saga gets murkier with CoA officials placed at loggerheads
The road seems to be getting murkier for tainted Indian cricketers, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, as uncertainty looms large over the probe of the duo. The cricketers, who were supposed to feature in India's ongoing ODI series against Australia, have flown back to the country to face an inquiry for their controversial comments on a popular TV show, which raked up a storm on social media and elsewhere.
However, things in the saga have denied taking a smoother turn yet again, with the Supreme Court appointed two-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) failing to reach a consensus on a particular aspect related to the inquiry.
As per CricketNext, while CoA Chief Vinod Rai has favoured the appointment of an ad hoc ombudsman to conduct the inquiry, co-member Diana Edulji has maintained her stance favouring the appointment of a permanent member to look into the matter, abiding to the new constitution.
The rift between the two main members has once again been thrown in open light, thereby leaving the cricketers' future in a lurch.
As reported by NDTV, Vinod Rai, in a letter, addressed to Edulji, wrote, "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," Rai further added.
In return, Edulji, in her reply, said that CoA can't be duty bound and she persisted on acting as per the rules and regulations laid by the new constitution. “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,” she reportedly mentioned in her letter to Rai.
The "misogynist" comments by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul on national television have been facing a severe backlash from several quarters. In addition to being suspended from a few tours, the cricketers' brand value too, has taken a serious blow.