Women and Cadila Pharma owner Rajiv Modi, a known Gujarat-based pharmaceutical unit, always has had an uneasy relationship.
Elena (not her real name), a Bulgarian woman working as a personal assistant to Cadila CMD Rajiv Modi has accused him of sexual harassment. The woman earlier had written an application to the local Vastrapur police but claims nothing moved She has also named a company senior, Johnson Matthew, in her complaint.
Elena, who holds a Bulgarian passport, was earlier a flight attendant and joined the company in 2020.
Cadila Pharmaceuticals employs over 8,000 people and is spread across 58 countries. The net worth of the company is believed to be over Rs 600 crores.
According to details available with Vibes of India, Elena, his personal assistant, had submitted in a notarised affidavit dated April 20, 2023, that she wanted to withdraw her complaints, that she had no grievances against the company or its staff and that the company could take legal action against her if she complained again in the future. There were whispers of an internal setting that arrived at that point of time.
However, in May, she again filed a complaint before the Sola police station making similar allegations, and thus, the police inspector submitted before the magistrate court that “there is no material in her complaints and thus nothing remains to be done about the complaint”.
The magistrate court, while rejecting her complaint in October, said that despite a magisterial inquiry done under Code of Criminal Procedure Section 202, the woman had failed to provide any evidence for the allegations she had made. It held that the complaint was not maintainable considering that the police had conducted a proper inquiry into the matter. The magistrate also took an adverse view of the woman for not disclosing upfront the affidavit submitted to the police seeking withdrawal of her earlier complaints.
Elena then approached the Gujarat High Court.
At a hearing before the high court on October 13, the presiding judge refused to hear the matter urgently and suggested the woman approach the sessions court with a revision application against the magistrate court’s order.
On November 2, the public prosecutor submitted before the high court that another woman had approached the court in June “principally with some service disputes”. Court records indicate that the woman was seeking a direction to register an FIR against the CMD along with three other employees for the offences of rape, sexual assault, criminal conspiracy, human trafficking and sexual slavery. Now, the Gujarat High Court will hear the matter on December 4.
Dr. Rajiv Modi, who hails from an illustrious family, has also had problems with women earlier. His wife, Monica, divorced him after 16 years of marriage in 2018. The acrimonious divorce saw Rajiv Modi’s character being ripped apart in public. Rajiv had to shell out Rs 200 crore as divorce alimony. Monica is from the Mumbai-based Garware Polyester family. The couple has a 20-year-old son. Monica had accused Rajiv Modi of domestic violence.
About eight months ago, Rajiv Modi committed ₹1,000-cr investment and inked an MoU with the Gujarat government under the Atmanirbhar Gujarat Schemes for assistance to industries.
An IIT Bombay graduate, Dr. Modi is a member of several prestigious institutions, including The New York Academy of Sciences, USA; the Genetic Society of America; and the American Society for Microbiology. He is a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, besides an MSc in Biochemical Engineering from University College, London.