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Karan Oberoi. (Photo: IANS) Image Credit: IANS

Former actress Pooja Bedi has come to the defence of her friend, TV actor Karan Oberoi, who has been accused of rape.

“Taking the history of our country in consideration and the patriarchal society that we are living in, there is a situation where a rape victim goes to the police station and her complaint does not get registered, which is wrong,” Bedi said at a press conference. “So we need laws against rape and such violence; but at the same time, if a severe number of women are misusing the law, if they are not respecting the law that is meant to protect them, rather [they are] taking advantage of it, we need to think about how to protect the right of a man as well.”

She added: “It is unfortunate to see such a kind man being subjected to something like this. The reputation damage, the family trauma is unacceptable to me. There are a number of cases where women are not using the law, they are misusing the law.”

A complaint was lodged with the Oshiwara Police late on Sunday and he was charged under the Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape) and 384 (extortion).

Oberoi was produced before a magistrate’s court, which has remanded him to police custody until May 9, his lawyer said.

As per the First Information Report lodged by the victim, Oberoi raped her on the promise of marriage, filmed the act and tried to extort money from her under the threat of making the video public.

“Though it will be little tougher for the first few days, but considering the fact that we have all the evidence to prove that my client is innocent, we should get him bailed,” Oberoi’s lawyer Dinesh Tiwari said.

The members of Oberoi’s Band of Boys music group were also present at the press event.

According to Tiwari, since the charges are strong, in those cases the police does not need a warrant to arrest the person. However, it is a loophole in the system where the police do not analyse all the information from both parties before putting someone behind bars.

He said: “In one statement, she said that she was sexually assaulted and then she mentioned that she was ready to marry my client. How could you get ready to marry someone whom later you call a rapist?”

Bedi also read out a message the alleged victim sent to Oberoi where she asks him to have intimate relations with her without any commitment.

“Isn’t it clear that the relationship was one-sided and Karan was approached many times with such messages?” Bedi asked.

According to the lawyer, they have submitted a series of text message that was sent to Bedi by the victim as evidence to prove his innocence.