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 Sexual harassment at TVF: Advocate registers complaint with Mumbai Police #Vaw

This week many women, mostly ex-employees of an online video site The viral fever (TVF) had complained on various networking sites as to how they had been sexually victimised by the CEO of the company Arunabh Kumar.

Arunabh Kumar

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1
    Advocate cites Supreme Court judgements to support his case
  • 2
    Complaint has also been sent to the Maharashtra Commission for Women
  • 3
    Mumbai Police had refused to register complaint on its own

Mumbai Police had decided not to register a complaint until any of the women who had been posting incidents of sexual harassment on social networking sites came forward to register an FIR.

However advocate Rizwan Siddiqui took it upon himself to register a complaint with the police as well as the Maharashtra Commission for Women to investigate the case. He shot complaint letters to the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office, Andheri police station as well as MSCW.

“Except for certain sections of Indian Penal Code which are governed by sections 195 to 199 of criminal procedure code, any third person can set the law into motion,” with this Rizwan says he is inclined to make police investigate all cases where women do not come at the forefront to register cases against culprits.

PRECEDENCE

In his complaint letters Rizwan has cited a couple of Supreme Court judgements to support his right as a third party to set legal actions moving against any accused.

This week many women, mostly ex-employees of an online video site The viral fever (TVF) had complained on various networking sites as to how they had been sexually victimised by the CEO of the company Arunabh Kumar.

The company had claimed a day later when the issue went viral that they were internally investigating the case with their human resource and legal team jointly. The company too had appealed that the complainants should formally register the issue.

Mumbai police too had appealed on the same lines but had refused to register complaint on its own. Siddiqui says, “so many girls have complained on social media, just because no one is able to come in the forefront to register a complaint does not mean that police will sit on the fence and just watch the issue? Discussions will happen and everyone will forget? All these should be investigated by police and that is the only reason for which I have registered this complaint.”

Siddiqui had earlier registered a similar complaint against film actor Kamal Rashid Khan in Versova police station last year. A month after his complaint police lodged the FIR against Khan for posting obscene messages and photos on micro-blogging site Twitter.

The Quint reached out to the women who have alleged being sexually harassed by Kumar.

I welcome the fact that the police will now be forced to probe the allegations. This is a welcome example to many men who are sexually harassing women and getting away with it. This FIR should act as a deterrent to such people. If a third person has gone and filed an FIR, it shows how much this issue has affected people. Rizwan Siddiqui is a very senior lawyer and he will make sure that action is taken. I am hopeful that justice will be served in the matter, the FIR is only the first step.

Woman alleging sexual harassment by Arunabh Kumar

Another alleged victim wrote to The Quint,

We really want the police to carry out a thorough investigation, and with the sensitivity that this case deserves. I can’t stress enough how important it is for this investigation to be carried out with sensitivity so that the victims do not feel vulnerable.

The Quint has contacted both The Viral Fever and its founder Kumar for their response to the filing of the FIR. This article will be updated as and when they respond.

TVF core team member Nidhi Bisht had recently announced that the company was going to conduct an internal probe into the allegations.

well.

 

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Comment (1)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The filing of FIR against the CEO is a positive step towards helping the victims of sexual harassment. The matter should be investigated by the concerned authorities

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