A FIR has been lodged against the co-founder of Scoopwhoop Suparn Pandey, accusing him of sexual assault and sexual harassment across a span of almost two years reports the Catch News.
Along with the co-founder, the complainant, a former senior executive of Scoopwhoop Media Pvt Ltd, has also accused other co-founders of the digital media platform - Sattvik Mishra and Sriparna Tikekar of abetting the harassment and trying to conceal it.
The complainant filed the FIR at Vasant Kunj police station in New Delhi. As per reports by the Catch News, the accused has been charged under section 354 A (sexual harassment), section 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman), and section 506 (criminal intimidation).
In the FIR, the complainant has claimed that during her two-year tenure at Scoopwhoop, between 2015 and 2017, she faced verbal harassment from Pandey who targeted her with ‘inappropriate comments and lewd remarks’. Pandey even went on to comment on her sexuality.
“Mr Suparn Pandey in public commented on my sexuality and this comment included calling me with names which reflected on my sexual orientation and my sexual preferences, as well as characterised me in a certain way,” reads the FIR, reports Catch News.
The complainant also claimed that Pandey repeatedly got uncomfortably close, often trying to play with her hair. He allegedly even sent her a lewd video on the company’s official Gmail chat.
According to Catch News, when the complainant raised the matter with co-founder Sriparna Tikekar, she allegedly assured her that such kind of behaviour wouldn’t be repeated. However, apparently, she did not take any action regarding the matter against Pandey.
Even after realising that it had no repercussions for Pandey, the complainant did not stop raising the issue with the company’s co-founders. According to the FIR filed, Mishra and Tikekar turned on the complainant and publicly humiliating her and driving home the message that she had no authority in this situation.
Both the co-founders allowed Pandey to arrive at work drunk, a situation in which he would constantly try to touch her, claims the complainant. However, she knew she had to quit after Pandey crossed all limits.
“Mr Pandey approached me after the meeting, between 8-9:30 PM, when I was alone at my work desk and asked me to be less “aggressive” in my dealings with other people and learn to “pour some sugar on it,” the complainant stated in the FIR. “That after that, he then got up, kissed my forehead and walked away.”
Moreover, she claims that she was allegedly put in situations where she was forced to work in close quarters with Pandey and was ‘reprimanded and humiliated’ if she refused.
She alleges that she was refrained from lodging a formal complaint and was eventually intimidated by the co-founders who threatened to hurt her career and defame her publicly. Following these events, she eventually resigned.
This incident comes days after the Mumbai Police filed a FIR against TVF CEO, Arunabh Kumar, following a series of allegations on social media from several women complaining of sexual harassment.
Information source: indiatoday