Fabindia voyeurism case: Smriti Irani may be included as witness in chargesheet

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Panaji, April 16: In the trial room voyeurism case involving a Goa Fabindia outlet, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani may be included as a witness.

Irani, who 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.

Fabindia voyeurism case: Smriti Irani may be included as witness in chargesheet .
Subsequently, police had filed an FIR against four employees of the store.

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.

Also read: Smriti Irani finds hidden camera in garment store's changing room, files FIR

The forensic report on examination of data is awaited before finalisation of the charge sheet.

"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 chargesheet. 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 investigators are 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.

Also read: Smriti Irani 'voyeurism' case: Goa Police summons Fabindia CEO, MD

"Their (Fabindia officials) direct involvement 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.

Police have sent the data collected from the DVR (Digital Video Recording) room of the outlet for examination in Hyderabad, in the absence of such a facility in Goa.

Four staff members of the Fabindia showroom at the upmarket boutique chain at Candolim near Panjim were detained for questioning following a complaint by BJP MLA Michael Lobo who was called by Irani after the incident.

Footage from the camera, installed four months ago according to staff at the store, was being recorded in a computer in the manager's office, Lobo said, adding that it held many recordings of people changing in the trial room.

"When we went through the hard disk and computer to check the recordings we saw everything. All things were getting recorded over there when anybody was changing clothes. From the level of stomach till above everything was getting recorded," he said, adding, "This is mischief... Somebody has been watching the recording."

Police have already sealed the shop and is inspecting the showroom. The CCTV camera was installed on a wall, against a foot-high ventilation gap on the side of the trial room cubicle.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from agencies)

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