Sandalwood actor Sruthi Hariharan, who has accused popular South Indian actor Arjun Sarja of sexual harassment, has moved the Karnataka High Court requesting it to quash a case registered against her with the Cyber Crime Police. Sruthi has also appealed to the court to stay the investigation being conducted.
When Sruthi had spoken openly about the sexual harassment she had faced at the hands of Arjun Sarja during the shooting and rehearsal of Kannada film Vismaya (Nibunan in Tamil), a controversy had erupted surrounding the allegations.
The accused Arjun had denied the allegations and in turn had filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police in Bengaluru, accusing Sruthi of creating fake social media accounts to deliberately troll and target him.
The Cyber Crime Police had registered an FIR under sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 385 (Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 34 (common intention), 109 (abetment), 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 114 (abettor present when an offence is committed), 420 (cheating) of IPC read with section 66C (identity theft), 66D (cheating by personation using computer source) of Information Technology Act on October 25.
Arjun Sarja has alleged that his social media team learnt of multiple fake accounts being active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He has accused Sruthi and her friends of creating these fake accounts in violation of the Information Technology Act, Cable TV Networks Act and other sections of the IPC. He had stated that through these fake IDs on social media, he was being trolled, which had caused discomfort to him and his family.
Sruthi has denied all allegations levelled against her. â€śThe allegations made in the FIR are so absurd and inherently improbable on the basis which no prudent person can ever reach a just conclusion that there are prima facia material for cognisable offencesâ€¦ In the entire FIR there are absolutely no iota of evidence or material that the petitioner induced any person to do or omit to do anything,â€ť Sruthiâ€™s petition read.
Sruthi has also stated that Arjun had resorted to filing a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police only to intimidate her since she had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against him.
â€śOn the very same day of registration of FIR, a press meet was addressed by Arjun Sarja and when he realised that the truth is coming out, he with all pre-plans to pre-empt the petitioner (Sruthi) from initiating proceedings against him, manufactured, fabricated, concocted a make believe version out of his own fertile imagination through a coterie of advisers and pressed his associate to approach the law enforcement agency,â€ť the petition adds.
Sruthi states that there is no proof of her committing any criminal offense and that there is no evidence regarding theft of electronic signature, password or any other identification feature of any person or that she cheated anyone. â€śIn the absence of cogent and convincing evidence/material on record, registration of the case based on Arjun Sarjaâ€™s associateâ€™s complaint is abuse of process of law,â€ť the petition adds.