The sexual assault case filed against veteran actor Alok Nath ten months ago by a former colleague, writer-producer Vinita Nanda, might now be closed by the police due to ‘lack of evidence’. The allegations were made during the #metoo movement that erupted in India last year.
An officer at Oshiwara Police Station was quoted by Mid-Day as saying, “We have recorded a detailed statement of the victim. Two witnesses were called to the police station a number of times but they haven’t yet recorded their statements.”
After various film and media personalities, including stand up comics, had been outed by women on the accusation of sexual harassment last year, veteran film actor Alok Nath had also been accused of sexual assault by Vinta Nanda who wrote the popular 1990s’ TV show, Tara.
In a Facebook post in October 2018, without naming Alok Nath, Nanda had narrated the incident from the 90s when she was working on the show. She had given ample hints in her post and later confirmed to IANS that she was indeed talking about Alok Nath.
After sharing her experience of harassment on the social media site, she had also filed a case against Alok Nath at the Oshiwara police station. An FIR was registered against the actor by the Oshiwara Police and the charges were filed under section 376 of IPC (rape).
The veteran actor was booked for alleged rape a month later. Now the police station has said that since there is not enough evidence against the accused the police are unable to file a chargesheet against the same because of which the police is contemplating to close the case.
On the news of the case’s closure, Nanda’s lawyer Dhruti Kapadia said, “Let the police do whatever they are planning, we will take it forward accordingly.”
The details of the witnesses were provided to the police by the survivor when she narrated the incident last year. In his defence, Alok Nath had on October 15, 2018, filed a defamation case against writer-producer Vinta Nanda, who had accused him of raping her almost two decades ago. The actor has sought a written apology from Vinta Nanda and ₹ 1 (Rupee one) as compensation.
Alok Nath’s wife had also submitted before Andheri Magistrate court allegating defamation by Vinta Nanda. According to Ashu, Vinta was holding grudges against Alok Nath because she thought her serial was shut down because of him, claimed Alok Nath’s wife.
Viewing all facts, the Mumbai sessions court had in January 2019, also observed that Vinta Nanda may have falsely implicated Alok Nath in a rape case for her own benefit and had announced an anticipatory bail for the veteran actor.