By Ila Ananya
In another case of sexual harassment at the workplace, Suparn Pandey, the co-founder of ScoopWhoop, who has a case of sexual harassment and assault against him, filed for anticipatory bail and was denied it. For some reason, the Delhi police have been told they need to provide him with 5 days notice before they can arrest him.
The news broke with CatchNews getting access to the FIR filed by a woman who was an employee at ScoopWhoop between 2015 and 2017. The FIR was filed at the Vasant Kunj (South) Police Station, and cites section 354 A (sexual harassment), Section 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) and section 506 (criminal intimidation).
The woman says she was harassed with inappropriate comments and remarks, that Pandey made comments about her sexuality and sent her a lewd video over Gmail chat. Pandey even approached her after a meeting, told her to be less “aggressive” while she talked to people, and kissed her on her forehead before walking away. The other two co-founders, Sattvik Mishra and Sriparna Tikekar, the woman says, ignored her complaints. In what seems to have become an infuriating and uncaring norm in companies now, Tikekar had reportedly assured her that this action wouldn’t be repeated, but no action was taken against Pandey.
This news itself comes only weeks after the chief executive officer and founder of The Viral Fever, Arunabh Kumar was accused of molestation and booked on the charges. Of course we remember the pathetic response of the company itself. At the same time we remember seeing a lot of pieces praising India Resists for the way they suspended anti-nuclear activist Kumar Sundaram when he was accused of molestation.
This time, in other rubbish ways in which companies deal with complaints of sexual assault, Mishra, one of ScoopWhoop’s co-founders has reportedly sent out an email to all his employees (that was leaked), in which he says he wants to “provide context” to the complaint of harassment. What followed in the email was a bunch of unnecessarily publicised email exchanges between the complainant and some founding members, where the complainant is seen talking in a friendly manner.
Somebody please tell us why this apparently “context” providing move was necessary, because just saying “context” seems to suggest they’ve made up their minds about the issue. When are companies going to take complaints of sexual assault seriously?