In a major blow to the #MeToo movement, Mumbai session court has not only granted bail to Alok Nath but also stated that Vinta Nanda had accused the senior actor of rape for her own benefit. While announcing the bail, the court observed that Vinta Nanda “Did not lodge the report immediately after the alleged incident for her own benefit”. The court has also observed that “possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicant (i.e. Alok Nath) has been falsely accused in the crime”.
Earlier, Vinta Nanda had accused veteran actor Alok Nath of raping her 20 years ago. But she did not file a case against Nath at that time as she was told that since Alok Nath is a big actor and no one would believe her story. But later in 2018, Nanda, in an elaborated Facebook post narrated the horrific details of the incident of allegedly being raped by Alok Nath. Alok Nath is known for his roles as a stereotypical Indian father, personifying religious traditions and moral values in films and TV shows.
His wife was my best friend. We were in and out of each other’s homes, we belonged to the same group of friends, most…
After her successful TV show, Tara, was shut down, Alok Nath invited her to a party, said Nanda. “It was usual for our group of friends from theatre to meet regularly so there was nothing unusual about my going to the party,” Nanda’s 9 October Facebook post reads. “As the evening flowed, my drinks were mixed and I began to feel strange. Then at around 2am I left his (Alok Nath’s) house,” she added. According to Nanda, Nath followed her in his car and offered to drop her home. “I trusted him and sat in his car. I have faint memory after that. I can remember more liquor being poured into my mouth and I remember being violated endlessly,” she wrote. “When I woke up the next afternoon, I was in pain. I hadn’t just been raped, I was taken to my own house and had been brutalized,” she said, “I couldn’t get up for my bed. I told some of my friends but everybody advised me to forget about it and move on.” After the post went viral, a case was registered against the veteran actor.
Looking into the matter, the court observed that there is “no record to show that Nath had given any threat or made any promise against lodging a report”. The court order further added that the complainant “remember(ed) the entire incident but she did not remember the date and month of incident. In view of all these facts, the possibility cannot be ruled out that (Nath) has falsely been enroped in the crime”. In the wake of all the evidence, one and the only thing that worked in the favour of Alok Nath is the fact that Nanda did not remember the date and month of the incident which has made court to doubt Nanda’s intention.
While acknowledging a first information report (FIR) as “vital and valuable”, the court noted that “promptness in lodging the FIR is an assurance regarding truth of informant’s version”. “If there is a delay in lodging the FIR, it loses the advantage of spontaneity, danger creeps in of the introduction of coloured version, exaggerated account or concocted story as a result of large number of consultations/deliberation (sic),” said the court order.
With such verdicts, those trying to misuse #MeToo will be discouraged. It bolsters the notion that there is no place for inequality anymore as all the voices are being heard.
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