Seedfund co-founder Mahesh Murthy booked for alleged sexual harassment; Mumbai Police files FIR after NCW intervention

The Mumbai police has registered a case on Wednesday against Mahesh Murthy, co-founder and managing partner of early-stage investment firm Seedfund, for alleged sexual harassment. The case was registered following several complaints from women to the National Commission of Women (NCW). The women complained about Murthy’s alleged use of objectionable language against them online.

A cognizable offence was registered at the Khar Police station under section 67 of IT Act, section 354 (D) and 509 of IPC.

A NCW note said: Even though Shri Murthy had allegedly, already posted an apology for some of his posts, NCW requested the DGP’s (Maharashtra police) personal involvement to investigate the matter and take strict action.... as such acts not only amount to outraging the modesty of women but also attract attention for cyber crime.

Section 354 (D) of the Indian Penal Code pertains to stalking offline and online, while Section 509 of IPC refers to any 'word, gesture or act that's intended to insult the modesty of a woman'. Section 67 of the IT act deals with 'obscene material in electronic form.

Mahesh Murthy, Co Founder, Seedfund

Mahesh Murthy, Co Founder, Seedfund

A complaint was earlier filed by a woman in Delhi against Murthy, following which Maharashtra Police on 29 December, 2017, has registered a case against the Seedfund co-founder.

The NCW  had requested for the Maharashtra DGP's personal involvement to investigate the matter in a press noted dated 17 November, 2017. The commission had directed the police to apprise them about the details of the case along with action taken within 15 days.

Early last year, entrepreneur Pooja Chauhan had called out Murthy on her LinkedIn page. Chauhan claimed that when sent Christmas greetings to Murthy, he responded with a lewd response. This encouraged another entrepreneur, Wamika Iyer, founder of FrshDay.in to share her experience. Iyer said that she approached Murthy for mentorship and received responses which were sexual in nature.

However, Murthy refuted the claims in a blog in blogging platform Medium in February 2017.

 


Updated Date: Jan 04, 2018 09:43 AM

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