Sajid Khan will not be wearing the director's cap for a year.
The director, who was called out for sexual harassment by three women from the film industry, was told he "deserved severe punishment" in a statement by Ashoke Pandit, president of Indian Film & TV Directors' Association (IFTDA). It read:
“The committee investigated the complaints.... in compliance of principles of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, unwarranted contact by poking and advances, demands for sexual favours and abuse of power by Sajid Khan.”
It continued, “Mr Sajid Khan was given an opportunity to put forth his defense. He did not give any explanation, response or defense to the allegations of sexual harassment, unwelcome sexually determined behaviour, poking at the girls and asking the girls to seduce or strip or to show cleavage and other sexual misconduct and thereby traumatised them mentally and emotionally.
“Mr Sajid Khan did not accept the sexual molestation of the complainants but admitted that his behaviour and language was impolite, he had been brash and used abusive language with his friends which included boys and girls. He admitted that he had sex relations with girls, but with their consent.”
Due to which Khan has been suspended for a year with immediate effect.
The statement also expressed approval of Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Farhan Akhtar condemning the director's acts and standing by the victims.
In early October, Sajid Khan was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women and was subsequently issued a show-cause notice by the IFTDA asking him to explain his behaviour.
In response, Khan denied the allegations saying they were levied against him for vendetta. However, a committee was held to speak to the director after which the president had said, “As far as Sajid’s case is concerned we have heard both the parties, Sajid and the girls. ICC (Internal Complaints Committee of IFTDA) will sit in a week’s time and take a call on the judgment and the federation will be there, along with the lawyers.”
Following the allegations, Akshay Kumar had called for his immediate removal as Housefull 4 director and his wife had also asked the film's cast to take a stance against him.