J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the Madras High Court’s judgment directing Tamil actor Mansur Ali Khan to pay Rs. 10.25 lakh in compensation to his secretary/assistant who alleged that he had drugged and raped her in December 1996.

Relying on the evidence including the DNA analysis report, a sessions court in March 2001 found the actor guilty of rape and cheating and handed him seven-year rigorous imprisonment, besides slapping a fine of Rs. 3 lakh.

Acquitted of rape charge

On appeal, the High Court acquitted him of rape charges but asked him to give Rs. 10.25 lakh in compensation to the victim to take care of herself and her child. The present appeal is directed against this July 23, 2007 judgment.

Assailing the judgment, the actor said his special leave petition raised an important question of law: whether or not awarding compensation after acquitting the accused of all charges, especially in the absence of any sentence, was in contravention of the law laid down by the Supreme Court. He sought to quash the judgment and an interim stay on its operation.