Bollywood director Vikas Bahl cleared of sexual harassment charges

Bollywood director Vikas Bahl, who was asked to step away from the under-production Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30 after an employee accused him of sexual harassment, has been cleared of all charges, Indian Express reports.

Bahl has been cleared by production company Reliance Entertainment’s internal complaints committee, which was investigating the harassment complaints made by an unnamed employee late last year. The decision to clear Bahl was made after the accuser refused to appear for meetings related to the investigation.

It is also being reported that direction credit for Super 30 will be restored to Bahl. Earlier, it was announced that he would not be given credit. Kabir Khan was brought in to finish the postproduction, while Anurag Kashyap was also said to be involved in overseeing the film’s editing.

Shibashish Sarkar, the Group CEO of Reliance Entertainment, said, “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.”

Bahl’s lawyer Hitesh Jain said, “In any sexual harassment case, there are two ways – either it’s the Internal Complaints Committee, who probe the whole aspect or the victim approaches any legal forum. In this case, what is happening is that people are making allegations on Twitter and putting the story on social media. But in all the MeToo cases, where are you seeing the charges actually being probed? Is merely writing a story on social media sufficient to castigate a person? Upon making the entire inquiry, ICC has come to the conclusion that there’s no case against him. Vikas does not need to come out with an official statement because the biggest statement would be him being credited for Super 30. He will be allowed in every aspect of the film now.”

After an initial complaint in 2017, Bahl’s accuser reiterated her allegations of sexual harassment against the director in a HuffPost article last year, after which Bahl’s partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane and Super 30 star Hrithik Roshan distanced themselves from him. Kangana Ranaut also came forward to allege that Bahl has behaved inappropriately with her many times.

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