The Mumbai Police registered a case against angel investor and managing partner of Seedfund, Mahesh Murthy, on December 29 after it received a complaint from a woman alleging sexual harassment.
On November 17 last year, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had written to the Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra, regarding the “usage of objectionable, derogatory, sexual remarks and obscene signs on social media” allegedly by Murthy, based on a complaint filed by a woman in Delhi.
The NCW had also pointed to various media reports where many other women had alleged similar complaints against Murthy. In a press statement, the NCW said it requested the DGP’s “personal involvement to investigate the matter and take strict action as per law and procedure” against Murthy, even though he had apologised for some of his posts. The commission requested the DGP to apprise it of the details of the case, along with an “action taken report in the matter within 15 days from the date of issue of the said letter”.
In April 2017, a woman had accused Murthy of sexual harassment 13 years earlier at a cafe in Mumbai, which he later denied as “absolute and complete lies”. Soon after that, several women complained of alleged sexual harassment by Murthy.
On December 29, a case was registered at the Khar police station under sections 354(D), 509 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and section 67 of the IT Act. While IPC section 354(D) pertains to stalking, section 509 deals with word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman. Section 67 of the IT Act deals with obscene material in electronic form. Mumbai police officials confirmed that a case has been registered.
Phone calls and text messages, seeking Murthy’s comments on the matter, did not elicit any response.