Internet media and news portal ScoopWhoop on Wednesday responded to a sexual harassment case filed against its co-founder Suparn Pandey, saying it would follow all the steps required. In a statement, ScoopWhoop said it condemned “any kind of harassment at the workplace”. It also said it has an Internal Complaints Committee that includes two senior women employees. The complaint about Pandey is now being looked into. “We are fully prepared to accept the findings of the investigations and dutifully take the necessary action if found guilty,” the statement said.
The company has added that it is cooperating with the Delhi Police in the ingoing investigation. ScoopWhoop’s statement came after the police had filed an FIR against Pandey earlier in the day. In the FIR, the complainant alleged that she was sexually harassed and also accused ScoopWhoop of not acting on her complaints against Pandey for two years.
She said she was subjected to “inappropriate comments and lewd remarks” by Pandey, who had even sent her a “lewd video” over their official Gmail chat. “Mr Suparn Pandey in public commented on my sexuality and this comment included calling me a names which reflected on my sexual orientation and my sexual preferences as well as characterised me in a certain way”, the complainant said, according to Catchnews.
The complainant said she had felt “physically violated” and “disgusted” when Pandey once approached her after a meeting, when she was alone at her work station and told her to be “less aggressive” while dealing with people. He had then “kissed her forehead” before walking away, she said.
The complainant has also accused the other two founders, Sattvik Mishra and Sriparna Tikekar, of ignoring her complaints. She said she had approached Tikekar about the harassment and was assured that such incidents would not be repeated. However, no action was taken against Pandey, she claimed. Moreover, she was made to work in close quarters with Pandey despite her complaints. She also claimed that the management publicly humiliated her after she complained.
Here is the full text of their statement:
ScoopWhoop strongly condemns any kind of harassment at the workplace. We work towards ensuring a safe and secure workplace for all our employees and take any complaints of harassment extremely seriously.
In line with workplace laws, ScoopWhoop has an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). The ICC constitutes of two of our most senior and experienced women employees and an independent observer who has served on ICC panels across various prestigious and international companies. 40 percent of our workforce is women and we have equal representation in senior leadership positions. We have taken every step to ensure the complainant gets a fair hearing and are following the rule book on workplace harassment.
The complaint was forwarded to the ICC immediately on receipt and the same is being inquired as per law. The company is adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the Hon. Supreme Court of India and the law of the land against sexual harassment at workplace and the investigation is ongoing. As an FIR has also been filed separately by the complainant, and the police investigation is ongoing, we are extending full cooperation to the police to conduct a full and fair investigation into the matter.
We are fully prepared to accept the findings of the investigations and dutifully take the necessary action if found guilty.— ScoopWhoop.com