Mumbai: A magistrate court here has acquitted The Viral Fever (TVF) founder Arunabh Kumar in a sexual harassment case of 2017, ruling that there was an “unexplained and unreasonable” delay in filing the First Information Report.
It can be said the complaint was filed out of “grudge” or business rivalry, the court noted.
Based on the complaint of a former employee, the Andheri police had in 2017 registered a case against Kumar under Indian Penal Code Sections 354 A (causing sexual harassment) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).
Kumar, an IIT graduate, founded TVF in 2011.
Metropolitan Magistrate (Andheri court) A I Shaikh acquitted Kumar in September this year. A detailed order was available recently.
As per the prosecution, the alleged incident took place in 2014. The complaint was filed three years after the incident as the complainant came across other women making similar allegations on social media.
The magistrate in his order held that “there is no concrete evidence produced by the prosecution”.
“There is material discrepancy and contradiction. There is even unreasonable and unexplained delay in filing the FIR, which raised clouds on the case of the prosecution,” the court said.
It can even be said the complaint is “filed out of grudge or rivalry on reason of business” between the accused and the informant, the court further said.
All witnesses are “interest witnesses”. They are involved in the same industry where the accused is also doing the business. Therefore, the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt, the magistrate said.