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MUMBAI: Police in Shimla has booked Bollywood actor Jeetendra following a complaint of sexual assault against him by his cousin last month.
On February 7, a maternal cousin of the actor had emailed police to accuse Jeetendra of sexually assaulting her 47 years ago.
Shimla Superintendent of Police Umapati Jamwal said on Wednesday that the actor has been booked under Section 354 IPC on the basis of the woman’s complaint. The police chief said the FIR against the actor has been initiated after the woman also sent in a written complaint to support her version of the alleged sexual assault. But she has not given the name of the hotel or proof of her stay in that hotel. Police will now record her statement.
In her complaint in February, the woman had said she was sexually assaulted by the actor in January 1971.
The woman said the sexual assault took place in Shimla when she was 18 and her cousin Jeetendra was 28.
The accused said she was in Delhi when Jeetendra arranged her to join him on the sets of a film in Shimla.
“He (Jeetendra) had arranged with my now-deceased father to have me join him on the sets where his movie was being filmed,” the woman said, adding that she was not aware of the arrangement. But she went with the actor in a group car from Delhi to Shimla.
The woman said she kept quiet for 47 years because of her parents. She said she has come out with her allegations now because her parents are no more.
Jeetendra denied the allegations. His lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee said in a statement, “Foremost my client specifically and categorically denies any such incident. Besides even otherwise such baseless, ridiculous and fabricated claims cannot be entertained by any Court of law or the law enforcement agencies after a span of almost 50 years. The Statute has provided a justice delivery system through the Courts, and the Limitation Act 1963 was specifically enacted to ensure that all genuine complaints are made within a maximum time limit of three years so that a proper investigation is carried out and timely justice is delivered.
“Besides I want to make it specifically clear that the law does not give any person any rights or liberties of making any baseless, ridiculous or fabricated claims against any man publicly and seek to defame him with a hidden personal agenda. Media is therefore adviced to cautiously refrain from giving any importance to such ridiculous, baseless and fabricated claims, and they should not participate in any way whatsoever in defaming or assassinating the character of any man in such cases.
“In any event the timing of this baseless complaint seems to be nothing but a miserable effort made by a jealous competitor to disrupt the business activities of my client and his esteemed Company. Such efforts are therefore in all fairness treated with the contempt it truly deserves.”
Jeetendra, 75, whose real name is Ravi Kapoor, is the father of actor Tusshar Kapoor and producer Ekta Kapoor.
Surveys show that almost one-third of women in India endure sexual assaults and violence.
In its November 2017 report titled `Everyone Blames Me: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India’, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Indian women facing sexual violence also undergo the further trauma of humiliation at police stations and hospitals.