Last year, #MeToo movement was kick-started by Tanushree Dutta and amongst the renowned celebrities, filmmaker Vikas Bahl too, saw some serious allegations popping up on his name. Apparently, Bahl stepped down as a partner of Phantom Films Production, which eventually got dissolved.
Vikas Bahl, who was working on Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30, had to step aside and Anurag Kashyap was appointed to look into post-production of the movie. As far as one knows, Vikas was cleared by Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) and restored as a director on Super 30.
Now, according to Huffington Post, Vikas Bahl was provided a clean chit by ICC without even following proper procedures and making dialogue with the witnesses. The respective committee was established to investigate the allegations on Bahl.
In March, ICC was asked to look into the matter upon the request of Vikas Bahl, states the committee report. Such procedures are not in accordance with Indian laws as there is no provision to arrange such investigation on a request of an alleged person, accused with sexual harassment.
Questions are raised as the committee was set up prior to the release of Super 30, just to rehabilitate the filmmaker.
The panel was headed by mother of Vikramaditya Motwane (one of the partners of Phantom production house), Dipa Motwane. The committee did not ask two other women to depose, despite knowing that their testimonies against Bahl had been submitted in a sealed envelope in a separate defamation case filed by him in a Mumbai court.
Vikas’ request for ICC came in when the allegations were still in judicial consideration. The legal experts state that the proceedings lacked clarity regarding the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace, (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, known as the PoSH act.
“The Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH) act didn’t envisage many of the scenarios that #MeToo has thrown up, so a lot of the investigations and inquiries being done as a result of #MeToo are outside the framework of PoSH,” said Mihira Sood, a Supreme Court advocate told HuffingtonPost.