The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday quashed an FIR against actor Jeetendra, in which a cousin of the actor had levelled allegations of being sexually assaulted by him at a hotel in Shimla in 1971.
Justice Ajay Mohan Goel quashed the FIR, which was filed under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code at Women Police Station, Shimla on February 16, 2018. The complainant had mentioned in the FIR that the actor was the son of her aunt and that in January 1971, when the complainant was 18 years old, the actor allegedly made her join him on a movie set. The FIR states that the two drove from New Delhi to Shimla and shared a room in Shimla with two separate beds. Later, a drunk Jeetendra joined the two beds and assaulted her with an intent to outrage her modesty, the FIR states.
The HC judgment states that the FIR was sought to be quashed on the grounds that “the alleged incident dates back to the month of January, 1971 and as there is an inordinate delay in filing the FIR. Further, as no explanation is there for such an inordinate delay in registration of the impugned FIR, the same deserves to be quashed and set aside, because inordinate delay in registration of FIR raises grave doubt about the truthfulness of allegations, as it loses the advantage of spontaneity and danger creeps in of the introduction of coloured version, exaggerated account or concocted story as a result of deliberations and consultations.”
The actor mentioned in his petition that the complainant had filed the complaint through a lawyer by sending a copy from the United States. Such an act, after a delay of over four decades, could be because despite the actor’s family owning a big media house, the complainant’s daughter was not taken for a role she had auditioned for. Noting that there was lack of “sufficient grounds for proceeding against the petitioner”, the court quashed the FIR.