Mumbai Police have arrested VC and Pinstorm Founder-CEO Mahesh Murthy acting on a sexual harassment complaint by a Delhi-based woman. Notably, Murthy had helped in launching MTV in India.
A case under IPC sections 354 (D) and 509 and Section-67 of IT Act was registered at Khar police station.
The Maharashtra Police registered the case following the victim's complaint in Delhi and National Commission of Women's intervention.
Based on a complaint filed at the Commission and following NCW’s successful intervention, #MaheshMurthy has been arrested by @MumbaiPolice today u/Sec 354 IPC read with 67A of IT Act. @sharmarekha @MinistryWCD— NCW (@NCWIndia) February 9, 2018
The victim had filed the complaint against Mahesh Murthy last year in Delhi.
The National Commission for Women later intervened after receiving complaints from the victim and also from some other women against Murthy.
Mumbai Police later registered the case at Khar on 29 Dec'17.
Despite several sexual misconduct accusations earlier, this was the first time a formal complaint was registered against Murthy.
After being booked by the Mumbai Police last year, Mahesh Murthy claimed he had only sent the woman "a kiss emoji" on WhatsApp, adding that the emoji he sent was being held against him.
He denied knowing the Delhi-based complainant and stated that he never even meet her.
The victim, however, accused him of making "objectionable, derogatory and sexual remarks and obscene signs."
While Mumbai Police were recording Murthy's statement, he claimed he knew the Delhi-based woman through a LinkedIn group but they never actually met. He and the woman always interacted in the group as he was an investor and she was setting up a start-up.
Murthy said the lady sent him Christmas greetings on 25 Dec'16 on WhatsApp to which he replied with the kiss emoji.
He added the woman found it objectionable so, he apologized to her and she accepted it.
Murthy said things later took an "ugly turn" and he filed a defamation case against her in Delhi in Jan'17, after which she approached the NCW.
On the other hand, the Delhi-based woman said she found the kiss emoji "objectionable". She had also submitted the details of her chats with Murthy to the cops.
On a social networking platform, she wrote that she only sent Christmas and New Year wishes to Murthy but received response that was objectionable.
Following this, several other women came up with similar allegations against him.
One of Murthy's earliest victims was 19-year-old Swati Pandey, who was allegedly forcibly touched and kissed at a cafe and then during a ride in Mumbai.
Similar complaints followed from Anamika, who had moved to Mumbai from Chandigarh; Pooja Chauhan, Vayuz.com co-founder; entrepreneurs Wamika Iyer and Supriya Sahoo, and author Rashmi Bansal.
A government officer too spoke out after her 17-yr-old daughter convinced her.
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