‘Sanskari’ #MeToo accused granted anticipatory bail

Mumbai: Actor Alok Nath was granted anticipatory bail by the Dindoshi sessions court on Saturday, in the rape case filed by screenwriter Vinta Nanda. Oshiwara Police had booked Nath under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) pertaining to rape (section 376), but no arrest was made pending investigation, said Manoj Kumar Sharma, additional commissioner of police (Western region).

After the #MeToo movement picked up pace in India, Nanda, creator of the 90s television show ‘Tara’, taking a cue from Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta, opened up about having been raped twice and sexually harassed by Nath, 19 years ago.
On October 8, 2018, Nanda had shared her ordeal in a long Facebook post, without naming the actor, but virtually identified him as the“most #Sanskaari (cultured) person in the film and television industry”, and had said his wife was her best friend and they had been part of the same circle over the years.

Subsequently, Nanda filed a complaint at Oshiwara police station and an FIR was registered against Nath. Following Nanda’s rape accusations, Nath had filed a civil suit in a city court and sought Re 1 as damages for allegedly defaming him. Nath and his wife Ashu, in their complaint, said, “Without commenting on anything about her (Nanda), the fact remains that all such occasions, such as the #MeToo campaign, are being cashed by way of utilising the social media for the purpose of either gaining some name and fame or for the purpose of defaming the reputation of a person.”

Close to a month after she submitted the complaint, Nath had filed for an anticipatory bail plea before the Dindoshi court. Advocate Ashok Saraogi, who was appearing for Nath, confirmed that bail was granted on Saturday and said, “There was no case from the beginning, as the allegations levelled against my client were baseless. The woman continued to keep cordial relations with my client and happened to accused him of rape 19 years after the alleged incident, which is completely unheard of. My client was not guilty and hence we were sure to get an anticipatory bail.”

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