Actor Govinda seeks protection from arrest in 1997 defamation case
On Thursday, Govinda’s counsel argued before the HC that since the alleged incident had taken place in Mumbai, the Bombay high court exercised jurisdiction over the matter and had the powers to grant him protection from arrest.mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2017 00:48 IST
Actor Govinda has approached the Bombay high court seeking anticipatory bail in connection with a case lodged against him in Jharkhand. The case is over a song in his movie Chhote Sarkar that allegedly made a defamatory reference to Bihar.
On Thursday, Govinda’s counsel argued before the HC that since the alleged incident had taken place in Mumbai, the Bombay high court exercised jurisdiction over the matter and had the powers to grant him protection from arrest.
The counsel said that the case was malafide and that the accusations had been made with the object of “injuring or humiliating” Govinda by “having him arrested.”
He added that the actor’s personal liberty and freedom were at stake because of the case which is being heard by the chief judicial magistrate at Pakur, Jharkhand. The magistrate had recently issued a proclamation requiring the presence of the musician, the lyricists, and some other accused persons in the case.
In 1997, a lawyer from the Pakur district of Jharkhand (then Bihar) had filed a case of defamation against Govinda, his co-star in the film actor Shilpa Shetty, and several other crew members. His complaint stated that the actors and other accused persons had defamed Bihar and Uttar Pradesh over the lyrics of the song ‘Ek chumma tu mujhko udhaar de de’ in the film Chhote Sarkar.
The Jharkhand police subsequently registered an FIR and the court proceedings began. A local court there had also issued non-bailable warrants against Govinda and Shetty in 2001.
The Jharkhand police had told the court that the proclamations and the non-bailable warrants had been issued because Govinda and the others had been absconding.
Govinda, however, argued that he was well known actor in the Hindi film industry and had been residing in Juhu for years. He said that he couldn’t have been absconding for he has appeared in several movies since the case and that he has been present in several social events, and also in the Parliament during his tenure as an MP.
He said that he had no intention of defaming anyone and also that the film and the song were duly cleared by the CBFC.
The HC is likely to pass its orders on the plea on Friday.