Fabindia Voyeurism case Smriti Irani may be witness

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The Fabindia voyeurism case has become talk of the town with all their outlets have been closed down in the state following to the complaint filed by Smriti Irani in the changing room CCTV recording case. The charge sheet in this matter is being filed in the court and Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani may be included as a witness in the trial room voyeurism case. Besides Irani, police is considering to mention two BJP MLAs and a government official as witnesses in the case.

Police had earlier identified an employee of the outlet at Candolim near here as having allegedly shifted the focus of a CCTV camera pointing it towards the store’s trial room, which was brought to light by Irani while she was shopping there on April 3. The forensic report on examination of data is awaited before finalization of the charge sheet.

It is to be recalled that in the month of March 2015 Ms. Irani visited Fabindia outlet in Candolim for shopping that was shopping at the leading ethnic apparel brand’s outlet while on a personal visit to Goa, had raised an alarm when she spotted a CCTV camera pointing towards the change room. Subsequently, police had filed an FIR against four employees of the store. “We had recorded the statement of Irani on the first day itself. It is the prerogative of the investigating officer whether to name someone as witness or not in the charge sheet. We might consider naming Irani as a witness in the case,” a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

The complaint in the case was filed by BJP MLA from Candolim Michael Lobo, while Dr Prakash Sawant, the legislator from Sankhalim, also testified before the investigators on the day of the incident. Former MLA and under secretary to Chief Minister, Sadanand Tanawade, may also be listed as a witness along with Sawant and Lobo in the case in which police had questioned more than 20 people, including senior Fabindia executives.

The investigation team is seeking legal opinion whether to include Fabindia’s senior officials, including its Managing Director William Bissel and Chief Executive Officer Subrata Dutta, in the chargesheet, a senior police officer said. “The direct involvement of Fabindia officials cannot be established in the case. But they are at fault because they failed to keep a tab on such activities. We will have to see whether they can be made accused or not,” he said. The recorded data is sent to Hyderabad for the examination as such facility is not available at present in Goa.

Meanwhile the Goa police have claimed that they have already identified the voyeur staff of the Fabindia Candolim store outlet. A police official said the accused staffer from Fabindia outlet at Candolim village shifted the position of a CCTV camera and pointed it towards the store’s trial room, which was brought to light by Irani. “We have identified the accused. He was one among those who were arrested immediately after an FIR was filed,” Superintendent of Police (Crime Branch) Kartik Kashyap told the media. He, however, did not disclose his identity, saying investigations were still on. Kashyap said the accused staffer was caught on CCTV changing the direction of the camera soon after the Minister raised the alarm. “He was seen changing the direction of the camera from changing room to other way when Irani complained,” he said, adding there are incriminating evidence against the accused. Police have already interrogated the accused during their first round of investigations. “Prima facie, we have found him to be involved. There are chances that more people may be linked with him,” Kashyap said, declining to divulge further details.

Another senior police official have mentioned that they have zeroed down on Paresh Bhagat who apparently had password to DVR (Digital Video Recording) room of Candolim outlet. Those named in the FIR have been booked under IPC Sections 354 C (voyeurism), 509 (intrusion into privacy) and also IT Act’s Section 66E (capturing, publishing image of private area of any person without his/her consent).

Source: PTI

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