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#MenToo – An absolute need of the hour

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Actor Karan Oberoi met one lady through a dating app and fell in love with her. They dated each other but later on, Karan realised that she is not a match for him due to compatibility issues. He denied marrying her and going further in the relationship.

They met in October 2016 and came to know that the girl is a healer; he requested her to help him in his career. However, he never committed any relation to her during this period. To cut long story short, now he is going through hell for denying her connubial. After a few days, the same lady, who is a tantrik and healer, filed a complaint against Karan and he was sent to judicial custody over rape allegations filed against him. Karan said that the FIR against him as “false”, an action “meant to harass”, and called his relationship with his 34-year-old accuser “consensual”. To prove his innocence, his lawyer demonstrated the messages exchanged between them. It’s the court that has to prove his guilt but before he is proven guilty, media trials have spoiled his reputation. His family is at stake because they too have to face society.

Now, based on the evidence submitted by him, he should be immediately released. Even if he is released, how will the court compensate him for the damage to his prestige and the trauma of bad persuasive suffered by him? If he is found innocent, the court should suo moto proceed against the so-called victim criminally. Indian law needs to be mature enough to understand the concept of fairness. Maybe this is the reason why unfairness runs rampant in India because of which we remain in such dilemmas.

Moreover, the point to be noted that the victim is “Tantrik” which means she’s a sorceress and indulges in blasphemy as it’s mentioned that she practices “Black Magic”. First thing is that she needs to be arrested too, for indulging in such archaic activities and misguiding, cheating people, because such practices are illegal in India.

Well! In 2018, a non-cognisable complaint (NC) was lodged by the woman against Karan, where she accused him of using her financially. Incidentally, Karan, too, had filed an NC against her for mental harassment 10 days before that. At that point, the girl had reached out to media and lashed out at Karan, revealing details about their association. He also gave his side of the story. Soon after that, the girl did not want to go public with the story. Given that he has now been accused of rape and extortion.

If Karan has to be believed, he flirted with her initially; however, there was absolutely no relationship, intimacy or sexual relationship between them. He blocked her from everywhere, as when he figured her out almost immediately. She used to tell him that her father used to hit her and that no man has ever loved her. He just lent her a sympathetic ear because of what she had claimed to go through. She told him that she is into the occult and wanted to come out of it and pursue an alternative profession. She then suggested that she could do up his house and then he decided to help her by allowing her to do that. That was the biggest mistake he committed. He has two houses in Mumbai and neither of them has been mortgaged. He gave her cash to buy items for his home, as she offered him a better deal. He paid for every piece of furniture and other things that she is claiming to have bought for him. After getting fed up of her intrusion, around six months ago, he gave standing instructions to the guard of his building that this woman should not be allowed to come up to his flat. She cut her wrist once and threatened Karan that she would get him booked for abetment of suicide. He figured out that something was amiss and that’s when he filed a mental harassment complaint.

While the complainant is claiming to be in a relationship even now, he distanced himself in August 2016. He lived a nightmare for the past two years. The only reason he would answer her calls once in a while was to protect his family, as he feared that she could harm them with black magic. He was put through hell just because he declined her requests of getting into a relationship with her or has any kind of intimacy with her. In fact, on the day of filing the NC, she called him and threatened to ruin his life if he did not marry her the next day. He said in his plea that the allegations against him “inspire no confidence” and the communication exchanged between him and the woman tantrik and healer “exposes (her) vengeful attitude”. He said that his arrest on May 5 by the Oshiwara Police and their plea for continued custody even on May 9 was with the “oblique purpose to harass” him. He contends in the pleas that, after being “made aware of the falsity of the allegations”, the magistrate refused to continue his police custody and remanded him in judicial custody. One of the allegations against Oberoi is that he had expressed an intention to have a serious, committed relationship with the tantrik and healer. The actor denies this in his bail plea. Rather, he stated that the lady, who “since inception” did “try to seduce” him by sending photographs. The saga is never ending and both erred in opting friendship through dating app which is non-reliable.

This is a typical case of Media judgement and trial, they made silage at the cost of an individual without thinking about the trauma it is causing the so-called accused and his family. Will the media publish the photo of the defendant if the entire case turns out to be false and she becomes the accused then? Can the media be equally aggressive? Leave going aggressive, the big question here is that, who would be held responsible for the damage done to his family?

Also Read: #MenToo: Social media campaign for Karan Oberoi

(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on Parallel Media, Support Journalism, Free Press, Afternoon Voice

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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