Court advises Govinda to apologise to fan he slapped

NEW DELHI: The Indian Supreme Court on November 30 advised Bollywood actor Govinda to apologise to a person who had lodged a complaint against the industry veteran, accusing him of slapping and intimidating the man in 2008.

“You are a big hero, show your big heart,” a bench headed by Justice TS Thakur said, while suggesting the actor to settle the dispute with complainant Santosh Rai.

Rai had appealed against the Bombay High Court’s decision of quashing his complaint against Govinda, saying there was no material evidence against the actor to show criminal intimidation.

The apex court bench, also comprising Justice V Gopala Gowda, watched the video clip of the incident on a mobile phone and suggested that the actor should apologise to Rai.

The court said a film star should not indulge in fighting in a public place, the actor does not need to do in real life what he does in “reel life”... We enjoy your films, but cannot tolerate you slapping somebody, it said and fixed February 9 as the next date of hearing on Rai’s appeal.

The High Court, in 2013, had quashed Rai’s private complaint lodged against Govinda before a metropolitan court in Mumbai.

Rai had filed the complaint on February 2, 2009, under sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (1) (Criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The complaint was filed a year later after the actor allegedly slapped Rai, a visitor to his film sets, on January 16, 2008.

Govinda had approached the High Court seeking quashing of the proceedings initiated against him by the metropolitan magistrate’s 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,” the High Court had said.

“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,” it had said.