Mumbai court acquits TVF founder Arunabh Kumar in 2017 sexual harassment case

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On Wednesday, a Mumbai court acquitted ex-CEO of web comedy channel The Viral Fever, Arunabh Kumar, who was booked following allegations of sexual misconduct in 2017. According to news agency PTI, the court has ruled that there was an ‘unexplained and unreasonable’ delay in filing the First Information Report (FIR) in the matter. Also read: Arunabh Kumar hints Jitendra Kumar may not be absent from TVF Pitchers season 2

As per the prosecution, the alleged incident took place in 2014. The complaint was filed three years after the incident when the complainant came across other women making similar allegations on social media. The woman had posted anonymously on under the title ‘The Indian Uber- That is TVF’, and said that the founder of the online content company had allegedly molested her during her tenure at the company.

Based on the complaint of the former employee, the Andheri police had registered a case in 2017 against Arunabh 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).

Metropolitan Magistrate (Andheri court) A I Shaikh had acquitted Kumar in September this year. The magistrate in his order mentioned “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 added. 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.

Arunabh Kumar founded TVF in 2011. After multiple sexual harassment accusations, Arunabh stepped down as TVF CEO in 2017 and handed over charges to Dhawal Gusain. Arunabhi’s latest work as lead actor and creator is Pitchers Season 2.

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