A sessions court here, while granting anticipatory bail to actor Alok Nath in a rape case lodged against him by screenwriter Vinta Nanda, has noted that it cannot rule out the possibility of the Bollywood actor being falsely charged.
The court, in particular, flagged the two-decade delay in filing of the FIR by Nanda, saying such delay enhances the danger that "coloured and exaggerated account" of the incident maybe given.
In its order, which was made available Tuesday, the court noted that there were some discrepancies in the victim's statements to police.
"It is to be noted that the complainant remembers the entire incident, but does not remember the date and the month of the incident," the court said.
"In view of such facts, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the applicant has been falsely enroped (sic) in the crime," the court said.
The judge also took note of the fact that the FIR was lodged after two decades.
He said although the Supreme Court has said that the delay in lodging of FIR in rape and sexual assault cases should be overlooked, the FIR in such cases is a "vital and valuable" piece of evidence.
"The object of insisting upon prompt lodging of FIR in such cases is to obtain early information regarding the circumstances in which the crime was committed, names of the actual culprits and the part played by them as well as eyewitnesses," the judge said.
Delay in lodging the FIR results in it losing the "advantage of spontaneity" and a "danger of introduction of coloured and exaggerated account creeps in", the court said.
She later filed a complaint with the Oshiwara police in Mumbai, stating that Nath raped her in her house in 1998 after spiking her drink.
The actor, 62, was booked in November under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Nath, while seeking anticipatory bail, claimed that the case was filed as a result of personal vendetta, and Nanda was unhappy with his relationship and marriage with Ashu, who was good friends with her.
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