Vikas Bahl cleared of sexual harassment charges following internal probe, will receive directorial credit for Super 30
Bollywood director Vikas Bahl, who was accused of sexual harassment by a former Phantom employee at the peak of the #MeToo movement in India, has reportedly been given a clean chit by an internal committee. A new report in Mumbai Mirror states that Bahl, who was removed from his ongoing film Super 30, has been absolved of all charges after an internal enquiry held by Reliance Entertainment found him not guilty.
The enquiry was headed by Reliance since it holds a 50 percent stake in Phantom Films, the production house which Bahl was earlier part of. This move reportedly reinstates Bahl's position as Super 30's director and now his name will be included in the credits when the film's trailer releases next week.
This acquittal could bring with it another spate of controversies, dividing the film industry in two factions. In 2018, two co-founders of Phantom — filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane — were sued for defamation by Bahl. The three, along with producer Madhu Mantena, were the founding members of Phantom.
Confirming the news of Bahl's acquittal, Reliance Entertainment's Group CEO Shibasish Sarkar told the publication, “Yes, it is true that the internal complaints committee report has exonerated Vikas Bahl. With the committee clearing Vikas, we don’t have a choice but to reinstate his credit as director of Super 30."
Sarkar further added that even after repeated intimations, the complainant refused to appear before the internal committee and as a result her associates and respondents were questioned. Communication between Bahl and the complainant was also reviewed and the Queen director was found innocent.
Vikas had earlier confessed that the woman alleging sexual assault was not an employee, but his close friend. On 8 October, Super 30's lead actor, Hrithik Roshan, had tweeted saying he would disassociate himself and his craft from purported wrong-doers. He added that he'd requested Reliance Entertainment to look into the matter and hold an inquiry.
— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) October 8, 2018
The report further adds that Bahl had apparently written to Reliance Entertainment, requesting them to begin an investigation into the case as no one had received a formal complaint from the woman since 2015, when the alleged incident took place.
Updated Date: Jun 01, 2019 10:09:25 IST