Mumbai: School accountant, suspended for sexual harassment, tries to extort Rs 20 lakh from authorities

Mumbai, June 11: The Bhoiwada Police booked a former accountant of an international school in Parel for trying to extort ₹20 lakh from the school on Thursday. The accountant, who was recently fired from the school for allegedly misbehaving with a colleague, called the chief financial officer (CFO) of the school and threatened to leak the school’s confidential information if he was not cleared of all charges.

He also called one of the trustees of the school and demanded Rs 20 lakh as compensation for his remaining 9 years failing which he threatened to leak the school’s confidential information. According to the complaint lodged by school authorities, the man was suspended after a 30-year-old woman working as a junior accountant with the school complained of sexual harassment.

The school which had a committee under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) act ("POSH Act") enquired into the allegation and suspended him.

Enraged after the suspension, the accountant texted the chief financial officer (CFO) on Tuesday and threatened to leak school's confidential data if he is not cleared of all charges, stated the CFO in his statement to the police. He also sent copy of data to CFO.

Since he was a senior accountant, he had access to information but was not allowed to take it outside the school premises, said the CFO in his statement.

According to the FIR, on Thursday, the accountant contacted another trustee and allegedly demanded ₹20 lakh as a compensation for his remaining 9 years of service otherwise threatened to leak data. After the threat, the school approached the police which registered an offence of under the Indian Penal Code section for extortion (385) and criminal breach of trust (406) and under the Information Technology act.

On Friday, the Bhoiwada police registered another FIR under section 354 A (1) (i) against the accountant for allegedly touching his colleague inappropriately in the last week of May. The accountant is yet to be arrested, said police.

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