Anu Malik stepped down as the judge of Indian Idol months after several allegations of sexual harassment were levelled against him by various women including singer Sona Mohapatra, Shweta Pandit, Neha Bhasin, Caralisa Monteiro and former Indian Idol producer Danica D’Souza. Now, in a letter written to an official of Sony Pictures India by the National Commission For Women, it is mentioned that they have cleared Malik’s name in the case due to the lack of evidence against him.
Mumbai Mirror published a report with the official copy of the letter written by Barnali Shome, Under Secretary, NCW, to Madhuri Malhotra, Head, Standards & Practices, Sony Pictures India Private Limited dated January 3, 2020. The letter mentioned that on the basis of the reply given by the company in a letter dated December 6, 2019, and taking the ‘cognizance of Sona’s Twitter post’, NCW has ‘closed the case due to lack of communication/ substantial evidence sought from the complainant.’
The report by the daily quoted NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma mentioning that the decision is temporary considering the case can be re-opened any time when the complainant is ready to submit ‘more evidence’ and ‘documents’ to support her allegations in the case. She revealed that the complainant didn’t appear before the commission even after 45 days of waiting and didn’t submit the documents required in the matter. Sharma added that the complainant had informed about other women in the case who were allegedly harassed by Malik but none of them appeared to file any complaint before the commission. Therefore, the NCW had to close the matter.
Sharma was quoted saying, “Responding to a complaint, we wrote to the complainant. She said she was travelling and whenever she returns, she will visit us. We waited for around 45 days. We had also asked for some documents, but after that, she never responded.”
Earlier, Malik had issued an open letter in the entire matter stating that both he and his family had been suffering a lot due to the ‘unverified allegations’ of sexual harassment against him. He wrote that he had been feeling ‘helpless, cornered and suffocated’. He said he had been looking out for justice after being in so much pain for such a long time.
Meanwhile, Sona Mohapatra has written a long post explaining how the NCW didn’t take any effort in talking to her and the other complainants and treated her like she was the criminal in the matter. The singer mentioned how she collated all the documents the NCW asked her to submit but got a ‘one line cryptic reply’ asking her to submit ‘more documents’ in the matter.