#MeToo: Strict action taken against Sajid Khan
The The Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) declares, “We have taken the sexual harassment complaints of actors Rachel White, Karishma Upadhyay, Saloni Chopra and journalist Simran Suri seriously.
The committee investigated the complaints in the spirit of POSH Act and in compliance of principles of natural justice, equity and fair play.The allegations in the Complaints are serious instances of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, unwarranted contact, demands for sexual favours and abuse of power by Sajid Khan.
He was given the opportunity to put forth his defence.
While he refuted the charges, he admitted that his behaviour and language was impolite, that he had been brash and used abusive language with his friends of both genders and that he had sexual relations with girls, but with their consent.”
Apparently, a television interview given to the popular portal, Bollywood Hungama, nailed Sajid. In the interview Sajid Khan is heard bragging.
“In and out of so many relationships. Then I have learnt.. I was a big dog in my 20s... I am telling you.. I was a big kameena aadmi seriously in my twenties. I have lied, I have cheated. I was getting successful/was getting busier/treating woman very badly.. All the nice girls in my life I have treated them very badly in my twenties.. In my 30s somewhere I started concentrating on film making. You only start thinking of your film. It is like a big responsibility and I am sure every normal filmmaker will agree with me. Now, in my 40s, I am very happy the way I am.”
Speaking on behalf of IFTDA, their investigator, Ashoke Pandit, says, “We’ve implemented the optimum punishment within the legal parameters.
Some of the best legal and intellectual minds have been consulted. But we feel that the final decision to work or not work with Sajid Khan or any other alleged offender lies with the filmmakers. It is more a moral than a legal issue. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala acted swiftly and correctly against Sajid Khan and sacked him from Housefull 4 in spite of his close relations with Sajid’s sister, Farah Khan. It is up to the rest of the industry to decide how they want to take this forward. We at IFTDA have done what we could.” A source who wishes to be anonymous says, “Our hands were tied by judicial considerations. Or else we would have banned him for a lifetime. However Sajid Khan is not Raj Kumar Hirani. He will be forgotten in a year.”