The Mumbai police has closed the sexual harassment case filed by actor Tanushree Dutta against Nana Patekar, citing lack of credible evidence against him.
Tanushree has issued a statement saying she is neither shocked nor surprised by this. However, she will continue her fight. It is likely that she will challenge the closure of the case in the Mumbai High Court.
ANI reported yesterday that the police has filed a B summary report in the case, saying investigation cannot be continued due to lack of evidence. TNM reports that Tanushree’s lawyer Nitin Satpute said that the investigation is incomplete, “We have witnesses, but their statements haven’t been recorded.”
He further said in a statement, “If the police files any B or C classification of summary report, that cannot be final. We can oppose it in court, and after hearing, if the court is satisfied, it can again direct police to reinvestigate or investigate further.”
Tanushree questioned the investigation process, and said that her witnesses have been silenced.
“A corrupt police force and legal system giving a clean chit to an even more corrupt person Nana, who has been accused even in the past of bullying, intimidation and harassment by several women in the film industry. Our witnesses have been silenced by intimidation and fake witnesses have been put forth to weaken the case. What was the rush to file a B summary report when all of my witnesses have not even recorded their statements yet? I’m neither shocked nor surprised; being a woman in India this is something we all have got used to,” she said.
She added, “If rape accused Alok Nath got a clean chit and returned to the movies, then, surely it was not going to be difficult for harassment accused Nana Patekar to get himself or shall we say buy himself a clean chit to continue to bully hapless young women.”
She further said that she was tired of fighting the case, but the delay in justice in her case should not discourage others from speaking up about harassment.
Earlier this month, director Vikas Bahl was issued a clean chit by the internal complaints committee of Reliance Entertainment and reinstated as the director of Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30. He was accused of sexual misconduct by an employee of his production house Phantom Films, and the ICC investigation by Reliance was closed even though the complainant did not appear before the panel.
Tanushree had called out the investigation as invalid and said the case could not be closed when there was a police case pending. She also said, “The victim not pressing charges is not surprising given the shame, stigma and hassle of a court case.”
Tanushree was the first to speak up about sexual harassment in Bollywood during the #MeToo movement in 2018, a decade after she accused Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of Horn Ok Please. Videos of her car being attacked after she walked out of the sets of the film were online. Her version of events on the sets were later corroborated by two women, a journalist and an assistant director.
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