TVF sexual harassment case: Company needs to be hauled up, says activist

TVF sexual harassment case: Company needs to be hauled up, says activist

Arunabh Kumar

Kolkata: Noted lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover on Wednesday said digital entertainment start-up The Viral Fever (TVF), whose CEO Arunabh Kumar has been accused of sexual harassment, should be hauled up in court.

Grover said the respective state government and women's commission need to step in.

"If this person has been found wanting, the law says the state government has to impose a penalty... the state government has to be doing a monitoring. This company needs to be hauled up legally... just like if a company does not follow tax laws.

"Why is it that when women's dignity is involved and leads to women dropping out, why is the state sitting quiet? Please come down on that company... the women's commission needs to step in, the state government needs to step in ... it is written in the law. So, we are not asking for anything special," Grover told IANS.

A female 'staffer' of the company, under the pseudonym "Indian Fowler", posted a blog at medium.com, accusing Kumar of sexual advances at the workplace and his several attempts to exploit her.

In the response section of the blog, another female employee shared her ordeal at TVF, saying that she "had to face a similar experience while working there". "I felt exploited and cheated and I left my job under very bad circumstances," she posted.

Referring to the Vishaka Guidelines, Grover said ignorance of law is not allowed as a defence.

"The law mandates since 1997, reaffirmed by the statute of 2013, that there must be an in-house internal complaints committee against sexual harassment at workplace.

"It's not that somebody, who is running a company of any form, can say that they are ignorant... Ignorance of law is not allowed as a defence... and particularly somebody who is in the business of media," Grover said here ahead of the launch of "Flo Advocacy and Legal Cell" by FICCI Ladies Organisation.

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