Phaneesh Murthy, victim may settle out of court
Murthy is being sued for sexually harassing Araceli Roiz, iGate's investor relations head, and allegedly making her pregnant.
New Delhi: Phaneesh Murthy, sacked a few days ago as iGATE president, will be sued by Araceli Roiz for sexually harassing and for making her pregnant. Roiz's lawyer Randall Aiman-Smith told Network18 that she is exploring an out of court settlement with Murthy.
Murthy is being sued for sexually harassing Roiz, iGate's investor relations head, and allegedly making her pregnant. Her lawyer claims Murthy tried to force Roiz to undergo an abortion.
When she refused, he threatened to have her dismissed. Murthy disclosed his affair to the iGate board only after she thratened him with legal action.
"iGate like me wants to do the best for the client. Both clients re sure that the matter can be resolved out of court. Litigation is expensive, it's public, it is a distraction especially for iGate and for my client too. Everyone is better off if we can avoid litigation. We both will make our best efforts to do that. Sometimes it's not possible to avoid but we will make an attempt," said Randall.
iGate cited non-disclosure of the Murthy's relationship with Roiz as the reason for his being sacked. Murthy claims he had informed the company, but Roiz's lawyer has alleged that Murthy did so only after Roiz said she would be suing him.
Murthy told the iGATE board of his relationship with Roiz only after she informed him that she will be taking legal action against him, Roiz's legal firm Aiman-Smith & Marcy said in a statement. iGATE had earlier this week terminated Murthy's contract for not reporting a relationship with Roiz. Murthy, one of the industry's best-known executives, was forced to quit India's second-biggest software services exporter Infosys in 2002, following a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was settled out of court.
The law firm, which had represented Reka Maximovitch and Jennifer Griffith in the previous sex harassment lawsuits against Murthy, said Roiz remains an employee of iGATE and is on medical leave at present. "When he discovered this (that Roiz was pregnant), Murthy pressured Ms Roiz to have an abortion. When she refused, he told her to leave the company, quietly, to protect his position as CEO," it said in the statement.