Mumbai: Actor Alok Nath during the trailer launch of film Sargoshiyan in Mumbai, on March 17, 2017. (Photo: IANS) Image Credit: IANS

Bollywood actor Alok Nath on Monday filed a civil suit in a court in Mumbai against writer-director Vinta Nanda in connection with her rape accusations against him, and sought Rs1 (Dh.045) as damages for allegedly defaming him.

Nath’s wife Ashu, meanwhile, recorded her statement before a magistrate in connection with her complaint against Nanda and sought that defamation proceedings be initiated against the writer-director.

Responding to the development, Nanda’s lawyer Dhruti Kapadia said they are going to fight the matter legally.

Nath moved the Dindoshi sessions court here with a civil suit seeking Rs1 as damages and an apology from Nanda for defaming him.

The actor and his wife had on Saturday filed an application before the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate, seeking a direction to the suburban Amboli police station to take cognisance of the letter sent by them in which they sought defamation proceedings against Nanda.

The actor’s wife on Monday appeared before Magistrate R M Nerlikar, who recorded her statement and complaint.

She told the court that their (Nath and Ashu’s) reputation has been damaged because of the allegations levelled by Nanda.

The magistrate has now posted the matter for further hearing on November 1, when the court will also record statements of three witnesses on behalf of Nath and his wife.

In a social media post last week, Nanda had alleged that the actor had raped her 19 years ago.

Although she did not name Nath in her post, she referred to him as the actor who is known as the “most Sanskari person” in the field of acting.

Nath is known for playing characters endorsing ‘moral values’ in films such as Maine Pyaar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun!, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Vivah.

His lawyer Ashok Sarogi had last Thursday refuted the allegations as “baseless” and “devoid of any merit”.

The complaint filed by the couple says, “The complainants [Nath and Ashu] have on October 12 addressed a letter to the Amboli police seeking action under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 of the Indian Penal Code against Nanda.”

The police, however, said since the offences are non-cognisable in nature, it would be appropriate if an order is passed by the court concerned, reads the complaint.

“We are, hence, seeking the court to pass necessary direction to the Amboli police station in-charge to take cognisance of our complaint and hold an inquiry,” the couple said in the complaint.

“We have suffered grave and irreparable loss, harm and injury which could never be compensated in terms of money,” they said.

Because of Nanda’s post, which although did not name Nath but subsequently he was named by others, Ashu and Nath have been victimised unnecessarily by way of defamation of their reputation in the society, the complaint said.

“Without commenting on anything about her [Nanda], the fact remains that all such occasions, such as the #MeToo campaign, are being encashed by way of utilising the social media for the purpose of either gaining some name and fame or for the purpose of defaming the reputation of a person,” it alleged.

Because of the “baseless allegations”, Ashu and Nath were “terrorised” to even step out of their house as people are looking at them with a “different attitude”, the complaint added.

In a statement, Nanda’s lawyer Dhruti Kapadia said, “The so-called defamation proceedings are not served upon us as yet — however and whatever the proceedings will be, we will deal with everything following due process of law.”

The lawyer said they are awaiting decisions of various associations where Nanda has filed her complaint like Cine & TV Artistes Association (CINTAA), Screen Writers Association (SWA) and Indian Film & Television Directors Association (IFTDA).

“Pursuant to decisions we will further decide our next step of action,” the statement said.

Nath has also refused to respond to a notice issued to him by the IFTDA regarding Nanda’s claim that he sexually violated her 19 years ago. IFTDA has now decided to take strong action against the actor.

IFTDA had sent a notice to Nath on October 10 based on a complaint by Nanda.

In response, Nath’s advocate Ashok Sarogi has told IFTDA that there is “no complaint at all made with any of the police authorities nor filed with any of the legal authorities” and that the notice has been served on the basis of “interviews and some complaints on social media”.

IFTDA President Ashoke Pandit said on Tuesday: “We are calling a meeting to find a way... We will follow whatever is permissible under the law of our association, to protect our members. Yes, [Nanda] did not complaint to the police, but she did complain to us. So, we will take a strong stand.”