Tata Group looking into sexual harassment allegations against Suhel Seth
Amid rising allegations of sexual harassment against Suhel Seth, who is a consultant with the Tata Group, the company has said that it is looking into the issue and would soon take a decision in the matter. As #MeToo movement has exploded in India this month, some of the biggest names have been named for sexually harassing women, including Seth, who was part of the Tata Group's PR team during the now infamous 'boardroom battle' between Ratan Tata and its former chairman Cyrus Mistry.
So far, five women have alleged that Seth sexually assaulted them, with latest one being model and former Big Boss contestant Diandra Soares who said he forcefully kissed her during an event in Delhi. "Tata Group is committed to promoting a safe workplace for women. We have noted the recent reports regarding Mr Seth in the media. We are looking into the issue and will decide on a further course of action in this regard," a Tata Group spokesperson said, reported the Economic Times.
Other women who have accused Suhel Seth include journalist Mandakini Gahlot, writer Ishita Yadav, filmmaker Natashja Rathore, and writer Ira Trivedi. Suhel Seth is a prominent marketing consultant, and can often be seen as a guest on TV news shows. So far, he has maintained silence on the matter.
Suhel Seth is also a managing partner of consultancy firm Counselage India. Apart from Tata Group, Suhel Seth has also been a consultant with multinational beverage maker Coca-Cola. The company told the newspaper that Seth is neither a member of the India Advisory Board of the company nor a company employee but maintained that the company has zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. Other companies like Mahindra Group and Adani Group have also claimed that he is no longer working as a consultant with these groups.
Meanwhile, the website of Counselage India is not functioning. Citing scheduled maintenance, the website says "our website is currently undergoing scheduled upgrades". The #MeToo movement in India began with actor Tanushree Dutta accusing veteran actor Nana Patekar of harassing her during the shooting of a film in 2008, leading to more and women following her step and coming forward with their complaints against men at the workplace, including the entertainment and media.
Journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar had to resign as the minister of state for external affairs on Wednesday following a spate of complaints of alleged sexual harassment by him to young women journalists during his tenure as editor of various media publications. Other prominent personalities who have been accused of sexual misconduct include Subhash Ghai, Sajid Khan, Alok Nath, Suhel Seth and Jatin Das, all of whom have denied the allegations even as several women have spoken out against them.
With PTI inputs