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TVF CEO Arunabh Gets Interim Relief From Arrest In Sexual Harassment Row

TVF CEO Arunabh Gets Interim Relief From Arrest In Sexual Harassment Row

TVF CEO Arunabh Kumar has been given interim relief by the Dindoshi Sessions Court in the ongoing sexual harassment case against him.

As per a TOI report, Kumar moved to the sessions court on Friday for an anticipatory bail. His lawyer, Abad Ponda, told the court that Kumar was innocent and the cases against him were false. “We have moved for anticipatory bail. We have told the court that the case against him is false. His custody is not required. Interim protection has been granted,” Ponda said.

The Controversy

Last month, multiple women had spoken out on social media after the co-founder of TVF was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous Medium blogger. No victim had come forward in the weeks after the allegations were made public, to formally lodge a complaint against him.

But later, it was reported that two complaints have been lodged at MIDC and Versova police stations each. A 27-year-old writer-director on March 29 filed an FIR against Kumar under sections 354 A (causing sexual harassment) and 509 (insult the modesty of a woman by indecent words, gesture or acts) of the Indian Penal Code at the MIDC police station in Mumbai’s Andheri East suburb. The second FIR was registered at Versova police station on March 30 by a former employee.

Mumbai-based lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee, who had filed a third-party police complaint against Arunabh requesting a FIR against the TVF boss, told Inc42 that both the FIRs were independent FIRs and his complaint also stands as it is.

A day later, it was reported that following the complaints two attempts were made by the police to arrest him, but Arunabh was untraceable. After the second FIR was filed, a police team went to Kumar’s residence, to arrest him, but could not find him. They attempted again the next day but Kumar was still missing. A senior police officer said that his house is under surveillance, as the officials waited for Kumar to show up.

The Indian startup ecosystem is currently undergoing turbulent times when it comes to legal matters. While Kumar managed to get an anticipatory bail, his contemporary and Stayzilla co-founder Yogendra Vasupal has got no such respite.

Vasupal was arrested on fraud charges by the Chennai police on March 14, 2017. The FIR was filed under IPC sections 420 – Cheating, 406 – (Criminal Breach of Trust), and 506 (i) – Criminal Intimidation. He has been in jail for over 25 days now. He was denied bail for the second time on March 29, 2017 by principal sessions Judge M Nazir Ahmed in the case of allegedly cheating an advertising vendor.

However, last week it was reported that a bail application was submitted to the Madras High Court, for Vasupal’s bail. The hearing scheduled for today has been postponed to Tuesday.