One of the women, who called out venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy for sexual assault, has written a detailed thread hours after the Delhi High Court earlier this week declined Murthy’s plea to restrain publication of sexual harassment allegations against him.
A single-bench comprising Justice Jayant Nath said that the defendants have the right to exercise their right to freedom of speech. “If these incidents and claims of the said defendants are in trial proved to be false, the plaintiff (Murthy) would have a right to claim damages,” Justice Nath said, as published in Hindustan Times.
Many women came out during the #MeToo period in 2017 to call out Murthy, alleging that he had on more than one occasion sexually assaulted them. Articels were published on LinkedIn, Indian CEO, FactorDaily and YourStory. The Delhi high court had, by a 2017 order, restrained publication of such material till his plea was decided.
However, following Monday’s ruling and the news of the same that came out on Wednesday, many women who had kept quiet for three years came out.
One of them, journalist Deepika Bhardwaj wrote a detailed thread on how Murthy harassed her friend Sonam Mahajan, and she called him out for it. She was one of the women taken to court. However, according to the journalist, Mahajan also took Murthy’s side at the end of the day. “Interestingly, he never made Sonam Mahajan a party to defamation suit when it's she who called him out. Since I considered Sonam a friend at that time, without taking her name, I asked #MaheshMurthy to stop predating on women who come to him for advice. Mind it this was WA chat,” Bharadwaj tweeted.
Notably, Murthy was arrested last year after a woman accused him of sexual harassment in December 2018. In that case, the victim, a Delhi-based entrepreneur, had filed a complaint against him with the National Commission for Women, stating that Murthy, 52, had allegedly made objectionable, derogatory and obscene gestures and sexual remarks while messaging her on WhatsApp. The NCW had made a written complaint to the director general of police, Maharashtra, and the police registered the case against Murthy on December 29 last year.