Second sexual harassment case filed against Seedfund co-founder Mahesh Murthy
A second case has been filed against Mahesh Murthy, a prominent angel investor and co-founder of venture capital firm Seedfund, in connection with allegations of sexual harassment.
According to multiple media reports, the Mumbai Police has filed a First Information Report (FIR) based on a complaint from a 41-year-old woman. The identity of the woman was undisclosed.
The Indian Express reported that according to the FIR, the alleged incident took place in 2004 when Murthy allegedly touched the complainant inappropriately inside a coffee shop in Mumbai.
Murthy denied the allegations, telling TechCircle via email that it was an old case.
"This lady makes claims that change from time to time, about what happened at one meeting in broad daylight in a crowded coffee shop some 14 years ago," Murthy said. "I sued her for these defamatory claims a year ago, and the honourable High Court granted a stay in my favour. This is her counter attack."
Murthy was arrested last month and released on bail soon after in connection with a separate allegation of sexual harassment.
He was held under sections of the Indian Penal Code related to outraging the modesty of women and sending sexually explicit text messages.
The National Commission for Women said the arrest had been made based on a complaint that a woman had filed with the panel.
A college dropout who went on to become an outspoken and influential figure in India’s startup ecosystem, Murthy has faced a string of sexual harassment allegations in recent months that have threatened to derail his career.
Online publication FactorDaily had last year put out multiple articles in which a number of women came forward to recount Murthy’s sexual misconduct.
Swati Pandey, now a Reuters journalist in Sydney, was among the women who had earlier accused Murthy of sexual assault.
In addition, author Rashmi Bansal told FactorDaily last April that Murthy had made sexual advances towards her 13 years ago.