- Navneel Maji
On Wednesday, Veteran Bollywood actor Jeetendra was accused of sexually harassing his cousin, after 47 years after the alleged incident happened. From the actor’s side, representing advocate Rizwan Siddiquee has said that the complaint made on baseless claims.
According to the complaint, the incident took place in January 1971, when Jeetendra (original name Ravi Kapoor) – the son of the victim’s father’s sister – was twenty-eight years old and the victim was eighteen. It happened at the situation when the victim was ‘asked’ to join him from New Delhi to Shimla on the sets of his then-upcoming movie. The victim claimed on that unfortunate night they reached Shimla, the actor returned to the room in not-sober state and assaulted her sexually.
The complaint is filed with Himachal Pradesh’s Director General of Police. Jeetendra categorically denied any such incident. The problem with the claim, as too indicated by actor’s advocate, is that it’s reported after a span of almost fifty years – as the Limitation Act 1963 was enacted to ensure that all genuine complaint is made in the time frame of three years so that adequate judgment be sentenced.
The claim could be an out-sprung of the #MeToo campaign as part of women coming out against any abuse sexual or otherwise and speak about it. If that is the case, the numbers of years taken to report the crime is irrelevant, as the people who did the crime should be known. In Hollywood, several ladies have accused powerful men who have misused their powers to engage in such activity; however, even though the actress has acknowledged the prevalence of such abuse in the Hindi film industry but none have been named openly, for a variety of reasons.
The defence from the actor’s side is that the timing of this complaint, which is baseless and false, is nothing but some competitor trying to defame the actor to hamper the business of his esteemed company.