Food delivery platform Zomato has said that it will cover the earnings as well as legal expenses of delivery executive Kamraj, who has been accused of assault, despite that he is still temporarily suspended from the work as per protocol.
"Kamraj has made more than 5,000 deliveries for us so far and has a 4.75/5 star rating on our platform (which is one of the highest) and has been working with us for 26 months now (these are facts, not opinions, or inferences)," Zomato co-founder Deepinder Goyal said in a statement issued on Friday.
Goyal added that they are also assisting the police "in whichever way asked".
Allegations of assault
Earlier this week, Hitesha Chandranee, a makeup artist and influencer from Karnataka, with over 55,000 followers on Instagram, had alleged in a statement posted on social media that she was hit by Kamraj on March 9, following an argument over delayed food delivery order.
Subsequently, Zomato had suspended the delivery executive, who was later arrested by the local police following the allegations of assault.
However, on Thursday, Kamraj countered these allegations and claimed that Chandranee had first verbally abused him, and then hit him with a 'chappal', according to The News Minute.
Chandranee had reportedly refused to pay for the food she had ordered.
Kamraj says that while defending himself, it was a ring on the woman's finger that hit her own nose and badly wounded her, the video of which she had posted on social media.
Kamaraj immediately departed from the place after seeing Chandranee's injury.
"I am telling the truth, I am here to work and not to attack anybody. If I punched her, she would have bled from her nostrils, that did not happen in this instance. Yes, I pushed her hand in defense and her hand hit her nose, this is the truth. But I never used any abusive words," the delivery boy explained further.
Truth is the topmost priority
Goyal issued a statement saying, "Right from the get go, our topmost priority has been to get to the truth. Towards that, we are helping both Hitesha and Kamaraj (our delivery partner) with all the support they need while the investigation is pending. We are also assisting the police in whichever way asked."
"We are in constant touch with Hitesha, covering her medical expenses, and helping her with the proceedings," Goyal said.
"We are also in constant touch with Kamaraj, extending all possible support to make sure both sides of the story come to light and that due process is followed in the spirit of fairness," he added.
Kamaraj also said, "the Zomato support system person in Delhi also supported me and offered me empathy after I narrated the ordeal that I had to go through. The problem is there is no CCTV footage to prove my innocence."
In an official statement, Zomato apologized for the incident.
"We deeply regret this incident and apologise to Chandranee for this traumatic experience. We are in touch with her and are providing our complete support through the necessary medical care and investigation. Meanwhile, we have delisted the delivery partner from our platform," the statement read.
The food delivery start-up has provided all possible support to both Kamaraj and Chandranee to make sure both sides of the story come to light and due process is followed in fairness.