Filmmaker Vikas Bahl has denied reports that he was sacked from his post in Phantom Films after a female employee levelled sexual harassment charges against the Queen director.
It was reported that a female employee of Phantom Films, had accused Vikas Bahl of molesting her during a trip to Goa a few months ago. After reviewing her complaint, Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena, the co-dounders of Phantom films, reportedly escalated the issue to the partners, Reliance Entertainment.
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The company set up a committee as per the Vishakha guidelines to look into the case. It was reported that one of the stakeholders confirmed that Vikas Bahl was formally asked to step down from his position on March 28. "The decision needed to be taken because it was getting too much. There are not one, two or three but multiple victims," Mumbai Mirror quoted the stakeholder as saying.
Before the complaint was made, Vikas Bahl, 45, had reportedly stopped coming to the office as he was taking care of his ailing mother in Delhi.
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"Nothing has happened. I am running the company. There is no complaint to HR and there is no Vishakha committee. I have heard about this particular lady you are speaking about and the Goa incident. She is not my employee. Yes, I am friends with her, we have worked together and there is a production job we have done together, but if she is feeling like this I would like to sit across a table from her and talk to her," Mumbai Mirror quoted Vikas Bahl as saying.
"I want to ask her if I have crossed a line, whether I have done anything to hurt her and if she feels that way I would like to apologise for it. I have known her for long. For two-and-ahalf years she has never made me feel as if she is uncomfortable (around me). I have worked very hard to be the person I have become. I do feel a little victimised but I don't know what to do about that," he said, adding that it was not a case of a relationship gone wrong either.
Another partner of Vikas Bahl admitted repeated complaints of sexual harassment against the director, but he denied the reports of sacking him. "There are lawyers crawling over the proceedings and the investigations are still on. They have been for a long time," he told Mumbai Mirror.