In a dramatic twist to the case of director Vikas Bahl being accused of sexual harassment, the director has now decided to a file a defamation case against his ex colleagues in the now defunct Phantom Films, directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, for making an ‘irreversible damage to his reputation.’
For those unaware, an ex Phantom employee in an interview with the Huffington Post accused Vikas Bahl of sexually harassing her during the promotion tour of ‘Bombay Velvet’ . This was followed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane confessing about this incident and allegedly regretting ‘their inability to do anything’ on this issue.
After the interviews, Anurag Kashyap announced that the Phantom Films will now be dissolved, and the team is open to legal action against Vikas Bahl. Subsequently, the makers of the much talked about Anand Kumar biopic ‘Super 30’ have allegedly removed him from the project, and Vikas Bahlnow awaits the verdict of the court in his case.
The court hearings however, exposed a different story altogether. When the court deferred a portion to the hearing for a further date, advising the two parties to avoid any provocative statements in the public against each other, the counsel for the victim revealed that the victim doesn’t want to pursue litigation against the defendant. Though she is not withdrawing her charges against Bahl, the victim isn’t ready to go ahead with the complaint either.
The revelation made Vikas Bahl lose his cool, and according to his counsel, who later spoke to the media, he lashed out on Anurag and Vikramaditya, saying that they used the victim to take out their grouse against him. In his notice before the defamation suit, Vikas Bahl had said, “…You are neither a witness nor the alleged victim, but instead an opportunist seeking to derive benefit based on unsubstantiated information. The alleged incident has not been established in any court of law and that you have exploited the media to propagate your own personal vendetta.”
“…He (Kashyap) has changed his stand to say that he stood by the victim and had morally and contractually complied with what was expected of him as a Director of the company.”
To quote Hitesh Jain, counsel for Vikas Bahl, “The matter has been adjourned to October 23. The victim has made a statement that she is not going to file any complaint against Vikas. So you can deduce from that as to what the whole battle was about. It was about fighting for the pride and truth of Vikas…
…Once the victim says that she does not want to file the complaint the automatic impression is that someone was trying to fire from her shoulder. That is the reason we have filed the complaint against those people who were trying to use the victim and fire from her shoulder.”
Now, if the allegations posed by Vikas Bahl stand cent per cent true, this casts a serious doubt on the intentions of the two directors, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap. If Vikas did not indulge in those ghastly acts, who actually did so? This gives the MeToo movement an interesting turn, and we’re curious to know the outcome of this case.
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