Mumbai

Victim pulls out of Bahl case, says she does not trust police

Vikas Bahl

Vikas Bahl  

Mumbai: The woman who had alleged sexual harassment by filmmaker Vikas Bahl, has told the Bombay High Court she does not wish to be a party to the case filed by him against his former Phantom Films partners Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap.

The victim’s statement, filed on Tuesday and read out by senior advocate Navroz Seervai, said, “I do not wish to be a party, hence I wish to be dropped from this case. I want to walk away and put this behind me and resume my normal life. I don’t wish to further relive what has transpired. I don’t have faith in the police system.” Clarifying the victim's stand, he said, “At no stage in the future, will she not pursue this if she wants to,” indicating she may keep her legal options open. Mr. Seervai also accused Mr. Bahl of being a serial rapist.

Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas, appearing on behalf of Mr. Bahl submitted, “Crocodile tears are being shed in 2018, after sleeping on this complaint for three-and-a-half years. The other three partners did not set up a committee prescribed under The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and failed to discharge their duty. In a media interview, Mr. Kashyap said the incident happened a few months ago. This clearly shows that he attempted to hide the fact that he did not do anything for two years.”

On the victim’s decision to not pursue the case, Mr. Dwarkadas said, “It is not fair for the victim to come (and) make these statements to the press and Mr. Kashyap and then submit in court that she does not want to pursue this; there is no such easy way out. It would be impossible for us to determine the truth without her.”

Senior advocate Venkatesh Dhond, appearing for Mr. Kashyap and Mr. Motwane submitted, “Mr. Bahl has not said anything about what happened on May 4 and 5, 2015 when the harassment is said to have taken place. He should be bold enough to say that this is what actually happened and this is how it is being presented, if he has in truth not committed this crime. He cannot say that, because he has confessed to the doing to Mr. Kashyap. Mr. Bahl hugged him and broke down, apologising for the incident. Such a man should be shown the door in the strongest terms. This is atrocious.”

On the victim’s stand, Mr. Dhond said, “A victim of sexual assault going to the police is the biggest joke. Rather than registering her complaint and acting on it, they will question her character.” The matter has been listed for hearing on October 25.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 4:43:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/victim-pulls-out-of-bahl-case-says-she-does-not-trust-police/article25303906.ece

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