Sexual allegations on TVF’s Arunabh Kumar – What does law say?

TVF_Arunabh Kumar

Edunia had reported about the sexual allegations on Arunabh Kumar, the CEO of The Viral Fever (TVF) Media Labs. Following these charges, Arunabh Kumar has challenged to face the allegations in a legal way. But it has to see whether legal action can be taken against on the basis of the article.

But there’s another side of it. According to the Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, the workplace is responsible for creating a women-friendly environment. There are few women, who might be reluctant to report such cases due to fear or embarrassment. In such cases, the Internal Complaints Committee created for such purpose within the company should lend their support.

According to Vrinda Grover, Senior Lawyer and Women’s Rights Activist, the ICC must have initiated an investigation regarding the allegations, once it is being reported in some form. Organizations which have more than 10 employees are supposed to have an ICC team. The ICC team dealing with sexual harassment charges should be headed by a woman and should contain at least 50% of women members. An external member should also be part of the ICC team, who should mostly be part of an NGO, dealing with sexual harassment issues.

Vrinda Grover
Vrinda Grover

It is first necessary to check whether an ICC team is available in TVF. If not, it should be considered as a direct violation of law, leading to certain legal actions and a penalty of INR 50,000. But the lady interviewed by “The Quint” specified TVF had an ICC team. But when the complaints were made, no actions were taken. She said that the case was simply dismissed that they can’t take any actions based on her say.

The ladies putting allegations on Arunabh Kumar should come forward to file a police complaint under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code. This IPC 354 deals with actions related to assaulting the women with the intent to demean her modesty. But the only point is that these ladies should reveal their real identities.

From an organizational perspective, the ICC team should initiate an investigation. Considering the fact that Arunabh is the CEO and can intercept the investigate, it is first necessary for him to step down from the CEO. But yet, we are not very sure of how far the probe could be.

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