In the latest turn of events in the Arunabh Kumar sexual harassment row, the Mumbai Police is likely to close the probe soon as no victim has come forward even 10 days after the report was lodged, as per an India Today report.
A third-party police complaint had been filed by lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee on March 16, requesting a FIR against the TVF boss, Arunabh Kumar for indulging in various “willful, criminal, vulgar and continuous acts of sexual harassment at workplace.” At the time of filing the complaint, Rizwan had stated that the police were helpless in the matter and couldn’t investigate the case without a FIR, thus, he went ahead and filed the third-party complaint requesting for a police FIR.
In a series of social media posts, he had also urged the victims to come forward.
However, despite emergence of multiple unverified complaints against Kumar on social media, no victim has actually approached the police. As the police cannot consider allegations made on social media as evidence and were left with no option but to close the investigation. Consequently, Arunabh Kumar will not be called in to record a statement as he is no longer officially accused in a case.
Meanwhile speaking to Inc42, Rizwan told us that as per Section 166 A(c) of Criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2013, the police cannot conduct an inquiry but has to investigate all complaints falling under 354 of the Indian Penal Code, by duly registering an FIR.
He stated, “The police have failed to do their basic duty, therefore, there is no question of closing the case. I have, therefore, made a criminal complaint to the metropolitan magistrate to prosecute the sub-inspector and the DCP as they have blatantly failed to investigate. My hearing is fixed on April 11, 2017.”
Rizwan added that three women have spoken to him regarding the case but as they are not confident about the system, they are not coming forward to register a complaint. Also, they feel that the accused is very influential and are scared.
“Even the State Commission For Women has failed to respond. I will write another application to the National Commission of Women (India) and do whatever it takes to deliver justice to the victims,” he said.
Last week, it was reported that Arunabh had been asked to record his statement at the MIDC Police Station in Andheri. However, there is no update regarding the same.
Additionally, the authorities are beginning to doubt if the original Medium blog post titled “The Indian Uber – That Is TVF” written by the user ‘The Indian Fowler’ is true or even if such a person exists. Beginning on March 12, 2017 the co-founder of TVF was accused of sexual misconduct by an anonymous Medium blogger. After Indian Fowler’s alleged disclosure, multiple women came forth on social media and brought attention to the repeated sexual harassment faced by them at the hands of this social media celebrity. TVF had earlier termed the accusations as “completely ludicrous against TVF and its team.”
Meanwhile, the original blog post link has been suspended.