A bench of Shishir Dhakal on Friday delivered the verdict after listening to the concluding statement of both sides.
A rape case was registered against actor Alok Nath by the Mumbai Police on a complaint filed by writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who had accused him of raping her nearly two decades ago, police said Wednesday.
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered at the Oshiwara police station in suburban Andheri on Tuesday night, a senior police official said.
Nath has been booked under Indian Penal Code section 376 (rape), Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone IX, Paramjit Singh Dahiya, said.
Writer-producer Vinta Nanda had on October 17 filed a police complaint against actor Alok Nath.
The complainant, best known for a 90s TV show, had in a social media post last month alleged that the actor had raped her 19 years ago.
She had given an account of the alleged sexual assault in the post, soon after actor Tanushree Dutta’s complaint of harassment against Nana Patekar sparked off what is known as India’s #MeToo movement. Patekar denied the allegations.
Though Nanda did not name Nath in her social media post, she referred to him as the actor who is known as the “most Sanskari person” in the field of acting.
Nath is known for playing characters endorsing ‘moral values’ in films such as “Maine Pyaar Kiya”, “Hum Aapke Hain Koun!”, “Hum Saath Saath Hain” and “Vivah”.
Alok had, however, rejected IFTDA’s notice on the ground that no police complaint had been filed against him. Instead, he filed a civil defamation suit against Nanda, demanding a written apology and compensation of one rupee.
The actor’s wife Ashu had also recorded her statement before a magistrate in connection with her complaint against the complainant and sought that defamation proceedings be initiated against the writer-producer.
She told the court that their (Nath and Ashu’s) reputation has been damaged because of the allegations levelled by the writer.
The Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) had earlier this month expelled Alok Nath in view of the rape allegations against him.
The #MeToo movement, which began in Hollywood a year ago, has seen thousands sharing their stories of sexual harassment.
In recent months, #MeToo has been gaining momentum in India with women calling out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers.
The movement has resulted in the fall of Bollywood stalwarts such as Patekar, Sajid Khan, Subhash Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Subhash Ghai, Anu Malik and Rajat Kapoor.
(With PTI inputs)