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Accused granted bail by Mapusa Court in FabIndia case

Mapusa, Apr. 4: A court in Mapusa granted bail to all the four accused on Saturday in connection with an alleged snooping incident on Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani in a FabIndia outlet in the city.

The accused were arrested yesterday after Irani spotted a CCTV camera near the Fabindia's trial room. The camera was installed in a way that it focused on the trial room.

Irani then alerted her husband and called BJP Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, who stays in the vicinity of the clothing boutique.

Smriti Irani leaving fabindia
Smriti Irani leaving fabindia

A First Information Report (FIR) was registered yesterday in connection with the incident. 

The company on Saturday said, “there were no hidden cameras anywhere in the store, including the trial rooms.”

“At the outset, we would like to convey our apologies to the Honourable Minister Smriti Irani for the inconvenience that has been inadvertently caused.

“The camera in question at Condolim-Goa store was a part of the surveillance system at the store and was installed in the shopping area. There were no hidden cameras anywhere in the store, including the trial rooms. These cameras are in full public view and the fact that surveillance cameras are installed is prominently displayed in all the stores,” Fabindia said in a statement.

The company claimed that installation of CCTV camera is a standard retail practice employed across the industry as a surveillance and security measure and that several other stores have been checked since Friday by the police and no imperfections in placement of cameras have been found.

“Fabindia is a women-centric organisation and 70 per cent of its workforce is women across the country and the globe. We highly value the dignity of women and stand for it. Customer is supreme for us.

“All of us, including our staff and store manager, are co-operating fully with the police in every way possible so that the matter is investigated and reaches its logical conclusion. If mischief has been done by anyone, such person should be punished as per law,” it added.

Fabindia said the company has also appointed an investigation team comprising three senior women executives to look into the matter.

Meanwhile A day after Union Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani spotted a secret CCTV camera in a Fabindia trial room in Goa, another store of the popular ethnic lifestyle brand has incurred public outrage in Western Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district.

On Saturday, the Kolhapur police arrested Prakash Ispurle, a salesman working in a Fabindia outlet in the city allegedly for filming a young girl changing clothes in the store’s dressing room.

fabindia matter
fabindia matter

The incident, which took place on Tuesday, came to the notice of store authorities after the girl spotted a mobile camera flashing on the mirror of the trial room, following which the victim raised the issue.

According to store authorities, the sole saleswoman among a staff of nine was on leave the day the incident took place. Soon after, a complaint was lodged at the Shahupuri police station. The store’s operations, however, continued to function normally with the police not sealing it.

The police have booked the accused under sections 354 C (voyeurism), 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 66E of the Information Technology Act.

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