The Maharashtra State Commission For Women is considering how to proceed in the Tanushree Dutta sexual harassment case, after the actress failed to appear before the commission despite a notice having been issued to her.
“We have been waiting for her to appear before us for a detailed account to take the case further,” said Vijaya Rahatkar, chairperson of the commission. “It is a serious case, as an FIR has been lodged and investigations are on. We will discuss with our advocate about how to proceed in the case,” added Rahatkar.
On October 9, after Dutta complained that she was allegedly sexually harassed in 2008 on the sets of the film Horn Ok Pleassss, the commission issued a notice to actor Nana Patekar, choreographer Ganesh Acharya, producer Sameer Siddiqui and director Rakesh Sarang, to submit their response within 10 days.
The commission had also directed the Mumbai Police to submit a detailed investigation report in the case within 10 days. A notice was also served to the Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) to explain what procedure they adopt to address sexual harassment complaints. The Mumbai Police filed an FIR in the matter and inquiry is underway.
According to officials with the commission, Patekar submitted a response denying Dutta’s allegations. In his response, Patekar has stated that Dutta’s father filed an FIR in 2008 on an incident involving vandalisation of a vehicle. He said Dutta’s sexual harassment complaint is false, and that the police are inquiring. “Even in Dutta’s complaint, a plea was made to the commission to ensure an FIR is filed. Now that the FIR has been filed, it is not necessary for the commission to intervene,” said an official.
Dutta had said Patekar misbehaved with her on the sets of Horn Ok Pleassss while they were shooting a song. She claimed the director and producer backed Patekar while choreographer Acharya changed the song’s choreography at Patekar’s behest to allegedly get close to Dutta. Rahatkar said the commission is waiting for police investigations to get over.