Queen Director Vikas Bahl, who was accused of molesting a former employee of Phantom Films in the #MeToo campaign last year, has been given a clean chit by the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of Reliance Entertainment.
"It is true that the ICC report exonerated Vikas. With ICC clearing Vikas Bahl's name, we don't have a choice but to reinstate his credit as 'Super 30' director," Shibasish Sarkar, Group CEO, Reliance Entertainment, said in a statement.
A source told IANS that the matter was probed by an all-women committee with two lawyers, one internal and one external. The complainant failed to appear before the committee despite repeated reminders.
The clean chit has enabled Bahl's credit as director of Hrithik Roshan-starrer Super 30 to be reinstated. His name will feature in the trailer which will be out next week.
In an interview to Huffington Post in October, last year, the victim narrated how Bahl, in an inebriated state, forced himself on the lady's bed, molested her, and masturbated on her back before leaving the room using abusive language at her on a trip to Goa in 2015. Kangana Ranaut, along with Bahl's then partners Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, also spoke of his alleged misconduct.
Reliance Entertainment held a 50 per cent stake in Phantom Films -- co-owned by Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Mantena -- which was dissolved last year after the #MeToo controversy.
Kashyap came out in support of the allegations in a report and also tweeted about it, while Motwane called Bahl a "sexual offender". This had led to Bahl's removal from Super 30, produced by Reliance Entertainment.
Bahl filed a Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Motwane and Kashyap, saying the defendants were "taking advantage of the ongoing #MeToo movement in the country".
The former employee of Phantom Films, who had accused Bahl of sexual harassment, had also decided to drop the case against him. She had said that she will not file any legal affidavit against Bahl in court as she doesn't want to escalate the issue further stating that she has had enough.
(With IANS Inputs)