#MeToo: Legal battle will end if Alok Nath repents, says Vinta Nanda

Vinita Nanda. File   | Photo Credit: Prashant Waydande

While the legal battle by TV screenwriter and director Vinta Nanda — who filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police accusing actor Alok Nath of rape — will take its course now that an FIR has been registered against him, Ms. Nanda has declared that she was willing to forgive Mr. Nath if he showed some remorse and repentance.

The 48-year-old said that lawyers Dhruti Kapadia, Faranaaz Kharbhari and Kunal Tiwari were fighting her case pro bono.

Faith in justice system

Speaking to The Hindu on the road ahead, Ms. Nanda said, “I’m hoping for justice. I’m fighting this battle legally in defence of myself. Alok Nath’s wife has filed a civil as well as a criminal defamation suit against me. This has been done to intimidate and threaten me. Many women have spoken out about Mr. Nath’s predatory behaviour over the years, but they’ve chosen to single me out. However whichever way this gets taken, truth shall prevail. I have faith in the police and our justice system.”

Ms. Nanda said she chose the legal route in favour of social media. “I didn’t go legally against Mr. Nath, but when he got his wife to file a case against me, I had no choice but to follow it up and take it to its logical conclusion,” she said.

Ms. Nanda added that she couldn’t have moved on for two decades had she not already forgiven Mr. Nath, for what he did, and his wife for her silence. Her post on Facebook in October, this year was at the beginning of the #MeToo movement to seek closure. “I would not have been fair to myself had I continued to remain silent,” she said. “I did not know at the time that along with me there were so many others whom he had also allegedly attempted to violate.” The reference was to Sandhya Mridul, Himani Shivpuriji, Deepika Amin and others who spoke up soon after Ms. Nanda’s post. “I knew that Navnit Nishaan had also gone through trauma because of Mr. Nath and she too came out and spoke after me courageously,” she said, adding that only when Mr. Nath singled her (Vinta) out by frightening and intimidating her did she move legally.

Currently, CINTAA (Cine And TV Artistes' Association), SWA (Screenwriters Association) and IFTDA (Indian Film & Television Directors' Association) have sent Mr. Nath notices to appear before their committees. Ms. Nanda said that the organisations have demanded that the accused actor tender apologies to her and to the other women who have complained. “But he refused to meet any of the three associations,” she said. “Instead he went to court against me and filed a defamation suit against me.”

Ms. Nanda said the matter would have closed if the actor had apologised through any one of the associations. “If Mr. Nath is to put out an apology to all of us through any platform even now, the matter would end,” she said. “However, if he chooses to fight the battle through the courts of law, we’re ready to do that too.”

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 10:25:20 PM |

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