2008 slap case: HC quashes complaint against actor Govinda
In a relief to Bollywood actor Govinda, the Bombay High Court today quashed a complaint filed against him by Santosh Rai accusing the industry veteran of slapping and intimidating him in 2008.
Justice M L Tahaliyani while quashing the private complaint lodged by Rai before a metropolitan magistrate observed that there is no material against Govinda for criminal intimidation.
Rai had on February 2, 2009, filed the complaint against Govinda under sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach) and 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The complaint was filed pursuant to the actor slapping Rai, a visitor on his film sets, on January 16, 2008.
Govinda had approached the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings initiated against him by the magistrate court.
"The magistrate could not have taken cognizance of offences committed under section 323 and 504 as the complaint was filed a year after the incident allegedly occurred. Regarding section 506 (1) (criminal intimidation) the court should have first determined if there is prima facie material to prove it," Justice Tahaliyani said.
The High Court also took note of a police report which states that the incident did not occur in the manner stated by the complainant.
"No doubt some incident had occurred. However, there is no material to prove criminal intimidation. It appears that the complainant was instigated to file the complaint after a year," the court said.
It further observed that the accused had not acted in any manner which caused alarm to the complainant. "Such a prosecution cannot be allowed to continue and it deserves to be quashed," Justice Tahaliyani said.