#MeToo: Complainant Delayed FIR For Her Own Benefit: Mumbai Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Alok Nath [Read Order]
The Dindoshi Sessions Court granted anticipatory bail to actor Alok Nath last week, while observing that writer-director Vinta Nanda may have delayed filing a complaint of rape "of her own benefit".
In his order, Additional Sessions Judge SS Oza further noted that prima facie there was some "variance" in the complaints filed against the actor and also pointed out that the complainant did not remember the exact date and month of the incident.
"In view of all these facts the possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicant has falsely been enroped in the crime," it then observed.
The Mumbai Police had registered a case against Nath on November 21 last year, on a complaint filed by Nanda that he had raped her some time in 1998. While she had refrained from filing a complaint at that time, she went public with her ordeal at the peak of #MeToo, accusing Nath in a post that went viral. While Nath responded with a defamation suit against her, Nanda went ahead and filed an FIR alleging rape.
Filing an application for anticipatory bail, Nath had now alleged that perhaps the complainant's allegation against him was "inspired by the unrequited and unreciprocated love and affection that she had for him".
Ruling in his favour, the court took note of the delay of 20 years in filing the complaint and highlighted the importance of a prompt FIR, observing, "If there is a delay in lodging the FIR, it looses 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/deliberations. Undoubtedly, the promptness in lodging the FIR is an assurance regarding truth of the informant's version. A promptly lodged FIR reflects the first hand account of what has actually happened, and who was responsible for the offence in question."
As for the delay in the case at hand, the court noted that the complainant did not file the FIR when the incident occurred in view of the fact that Nath was a huge actor and that no one would believe her story.
"Thus, nothing on record to show that applicant has given any threat or made any promise for not lodging the report. Thus, its reveals that applicant did not lodge the report immediately after alleged incident of her own benefit," it then noted.
In view of such facts, it said, there was a possibility of Nath having been falsely accused of the crime. Anticipatory bail was therefore granted, observing, "It is to be noted that incident took place at the house of complainant, therefore no possibility to destroy the evidence. Now the applicant and complainant both are married, therefore no useful purpose would be serve by medical examination. Therefore, the medical examination of the applicant is nothing but mere formality. No custodial interrogation is required in the matter. Hence, I proceed to pass the following order."
Read the Order Here