The Metropolitan Magistrate in the case observed and has acquitted OTT platform ‘The Viral Fever’ founder Arunabh Nathuni Kumar of sexual harassment charges under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In the judgement, Metropolitan Magistrate AI Shaikh stated that no concrete evidence was produced by the prosecution and that there being material discrepancy and contradiction in the case.
The court stated that even if there being a reasonable and unexplained delay in filing F.I.R. which has raised the clouds on the case of prosecution. It can also be said that the complaint is filed out of grudge or rivalry on reason of business between accused and informant. Further, it has also been stated that all the witnesses are “interest witnesses” and are being involved in the same industry where the accused is also doing business. Thus, a total of four witnesses were being examined including the woman’s husband, who was then her boyfriend.
The court stated that it has been failed by the prosecution to prove that their case beyond reasonable doubt. Hence, the court hold that the prosecution failed to prove guilt of the accused. Therefore, the woman in her complaint filed in the year 2017, wherein alleging that sometime in June 2014, Kumar sexually harassed her. Hence, she accused him of touching her inappropriately and telling her ‘Tum Mere Sath Mere Ghar Main Chalo Main Tumbe Aam Khilata Hoon’. The offices of the complainant and the accused were nearby. It has been stated by the complainant in 2017 that she came to know about Kumar’s alleged bad behaviour with other women and decided for taking action against him. Thus, over the nine women had accused Kumar of sexual harassment in 2017 during the MeToo movement. In its order, the court reproduced her cross examination wherein “she also admitted that after the incident she do nothing, she did not even shout, she did not even slapped, when the accused had done alleged incident. Thus, even though she has not directly went to the police station. It has also been admitted by her that she had silent about the incident for three years. It has also not been given by her any print of the screen shot of Facebook which were uploaded by the different girls. Thus, the suggestions which are being put to her she had filed false case only to extort the accused.