The Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed a molestation case filed by actor Preity Zinta against industrialist Ness Wadia during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in 2014. A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati H Dangre, which was hearing a petition filed by Wadia seeking quashing of the FIR, had asked Zinta and the industrialist to appear before the court on Wednesday for the verdict.
In its previous hearing, the HC had directed Zinta to file a reply to the petition filed by Wadia. Zinta, however, did not file a reply. Zinta had accused Wadia of molestation and criminal intimidation at Wankhede Stadium on May 30, 2014, during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match and lodged an FIR at the Marine Drive police station. The two are co-owners of Kings XI Punjab IPL team.
However, the chargesheet against Wadia in the case was filed four years later this year in February under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
While recording her statement before the police, the actor had said Wadia was abusing the team staff over ticket distribution when she was seated below the air-conditioned box in the Garware Pavilion. She asked him to calm down as their team was winning.
However, Wadia abused her and even molested her by grabbing her arm, Zinta told the police. The actor had even submitted four photographs, which showed ‘bruise-like’ marks on her right arm. She had claimed the ‘injury marks’ were caused when Wadia allegedly grabbed her with force.
In July that year, Wadia had shared the names of nine people who he claimed were present at the stadium and requested the police to record their statements. In May 2016, Wadia’s statement was recorded wherein he denied all allegations levelled against him.