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#MeToo effect: Maharashtra women’s panel sends notice to Nana Patekar

MSCW chief asks Tanushree Dutta to present case; Nana Patekar given 10 days to appear before panel

October 09, 2018 10:51 pm | Updated 10:51 pm IST - NEW DELHI

 Nana Patekar.

Nana Patekar.

Chief of the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW) Vijaya Rahatkar on Tuesday issued notices to actor Nana Patekar, his associate Rakesh Sarang, and choreographer Ganesh Acharya among others, on the basis of allegations of sexual harassment in a 2008 case, levelled by actor Tanushree Dutta.

However, BJP MP Udit Raj struck a different note on the #Metoo movement, saying it was a “wrong practice”, and that women may be taking money to level false allegations.

Ms. Rahatkar, who is also national chief of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha, told reporters in New Delhi that Mr. Patekar and others have been given 10 days to appear before the Commission.

“We have also asked Tanushree Dutta to meet with us and present her case,” she said.

The MSCW will also be writing to production houses in Mumbai to ensure compliance with the requirement by law of setting up of Internal Complaints Committees to deal with issues of sexual harassment.

“Additionally we will be writing to producers and artists’ associations as well as production houses to ensure compliance with the legal requirement of constituting Internal Complaints Committees in their organisations,” she said.

However, Mr. Udit Raj’s comments questioning the relevance of making sexual harassment allegations against anybody after 10 years, caused some embarrassment in the party.

“#MeToo movement is important but what is the relevance of making sexual harassment allegations against anybody ten years later? How will the truth in these allegations be established after so long? Habitually women take [₹] two to four lakhs, level allegations on men and then another man. I accept it is in man’s nature. But are women perfect? A man’s life gets destroyed because of this,” he said.

“How is it possible that a girl who is in a live-in relationship can level rape allegations against her partner and he is booked and sent to jail. Such incidents are happening so frequently these days. Isn't it being used for blackmailing?,” he asked.

Nobody from the party commented on the MP’s remarks. The Central government has maintained a tight-lipped silence on the #Metoo movement in India.

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