Slapgate: Govinda 'respects' SC order, raises 'funding' poser

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Mumbai, Dec 1: Bollywood actor Govinda, asked by the Supreme Court to apologise to a fan for slapping him in 2008, today said while he respects the order, he does not find the complainant's behaviour "normal" and suspects "funding" in the case.

The SC yesterday advised Govinda to apologise to a person, Santosh Rai, who had lodged a complaint accusing the actor of 'slapping and intimidating' him over seven years ago.

Govinda

The 51-year-old former Congress MP from Mumbai said he cannot comment anything on the case as it is a "technical issue" and will take a call on tendering an apology only after he receives a copy of the judgement.

"I respect the decision of the Supreme Court which is of the highest order. I still haven't received the court's letter. So I cannot comment on that. It's a technical issue and I will refrain from commenting until I get the letter. Once I get it I'll let you know what I feel about it," he told reporters.

The incident took place on January 16, 2008 when Rai visited the actor's film sets here. Govinda has claimed the fan entered the place illegally. Asked if he feels some kind of political backing to the complainant, Govinda said,

"This is something which is worth thinking about... A man who has no family here, who has nobody here, he got so much support... He reached the place illegally."

"Who is funding this...? How's it possible without it? For so many years? It doesn't seem normal. No fan can behave like this. This is for sure. Fans love the artists, they go out of the way too but they don't do this," he added.

A Bench headed by Justice T S Thakur urged the actor to settle the dispute with the complainant while saying, "you are a big hero, show your big heart."

The "Partner" star said there was no issue of not being "large hearted" and demanded a "proof" that the man was a genuine fan.

"There is no ego problem at all. In these years, what have I done to him? Did I file a defamation case? Or threaten him with any other cases? There is no issue of not being large hearted... Give me a proof that he is genuine fan, he is good man. I didn't go to him to hurt him. I don't even know him."

The Bombay High Court, in 2013, quashed Rai's private complaint lodged against Govinda before a Metropolitan Court in the metropolis, prompting him to move the SC. The apex court has fixed February 9 for hearing Rai's appeal.

PTI

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