FIR filed against TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar on harassment charges

Shrabonti Bagchi March 29, 2017

Barely 24 hours after news reports claimed that Mumbai Police were ready to close the investigation into harassment charges against TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar, following a third-party report made by Mumbai-based lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui, a fresh report has been filed by a woman and an FIR lodged against Kumar.

Even as the police said that they were going to close the case because of lack of evidence, the fresh complaint made by a woman — some sources claimed she is a current employee of TVF — seems to have convinced the cops to lodge an FIR against Kumar under Section 354 at the MIDC police station in Mumbai’s Andheri East.

Siddiqui confirmed to FactorDaily that the police action was not the result of his complaint, but follows a fresh complaint. “I am happy that whoever has come forward has done so and made it possible for this case to be investigated by the police, which in my opinion was not acting upon the previous complaint made,” said Siddiqui.

Siddiqui confirmed to FactorDaily that the police action was not the result of his complaint

It is well-known that TVF has been under a cloud since the first blog post accusing Kumar of harassment and sexual molestation was published on March 13. Since then, several women have used social media to share their experiences of unwanted advances and inappropriate physical contact initiated by Kumar. But there was an uneasy lull over the past two weeks, as TVF fans, journalists, and in fact the startup industry waited to see how TVF would handle this and move ahead with its scheduled shows.

In a statement released to the media on March 17, the company said it was “committed to getting to the bottom of these allegations” and responded to media queries about its lack of a sexual harassment committee (and, in fact, a designated HR department): “Many of you have asked so we would like to confirm that yes, we have an ICC Committee set up in each location.” (ICC = Internal Complaints Committee).

But no details of the purported investigations have been shared so far, and it is unclear who its members are, who heads it, and what its findings or processes have been.

This new development is sure to put TVF, backed by Tiger Global, in a tough spot even as it gears up to launch a new, much-publicised webseries featuring one of its leading actresses and creative heads on March 31.

Earlier today, FactorDaily also spoke to Nidhi Singh, a well-known actress from the TVF stable, who said she has worked as a collaborator on TVF and has nothing negative to say against the company, directing us to her tweet:

The story will be updated as and when we learn more details.



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