The Federation of Western India Cine Employees on Monday issued showcause notices to actor Alok Nath and director Sajid Khan after both were accused of sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo campaign earlier this month.
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees in a statement said it took action after a request by the Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association, which had earlier issued showcause notices to both the accused. The federation said Nath’s “unsatisfactory response” to the film association and the lack of a response from Khan had led to the action.
Writer, director and producer Vinta Nanda has accused Nath of raping her in her home nearly two decades ago, not long after he was sacked from the popular 1990s’ television show Tara for misbehaving with its lead actress. Actors Sandhya Mridul and Deepika Amin have also accused Nath of sexual harassment.
The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees in a meeting decided to come up with an action plan to deal with cases of sexual harassment in the industry and “completely eradicate such malpractices”.
According to the action plan, it will be mandatory for each production house to form a separate “Special Redressal Committee” in accordance with the Vishakha guidelines to closely monitor such incidents.
“The committee shall empower the victims to come out of such issues openly and help us to eradicate such malpractices from the industry completely,” said the statement. “The committee shall work strictly in accordance to the Vishakha guidelines and shall extend its full support to the victim to go ahead with the case and all the legal guidance and help shall be offered to the victim till the judgement on the case is awarded by the court of law.”
Earlier, the Cine and TV Artists Association said it will form two committees to tackle sexual harassment in the industry. Actors Raveena Tandon and Renuka Shahane and filmmaker Amole Gupte will be part of a complaints redressal committee, while actor Swara Bhasker will set up a sub-committee to increase awareness on film sets.
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees also expressed its support for the women who have gone public with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against journalists, media professionals, actors, filmmakers and writers. Prominent Bollywood personalities accused of sexual misconduct include actor Nana Patekar, and film directors Vikas Bahl and Subhash Ghai.
The Mumbai Film Festival also dropped an independent short film co-produced by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap for his alleged inaction in a sexual assault complaint against his former business partner Bahl.