Temporary relief for Govinda; HC grants transit plea in 1997 defamation case

Temporary relief for Govinda; HC grants transit plea in 1997 defamation case

In what has come as a temporary relief to Govinda, the Bombay High Court today granted him a transit bail protecting the actor from arrest in a two-decade-old defamation case.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav on Friday approved Govinda’s anticipatory bail plea and asked him to furnish a security of Rs 25,000 for four weeks. HC also ordered the 53-year-old actor to appear before the Jharkhand court as summoned to him on March 6.

In the case of an arrest, Govinda will have to pay Rs 25,000 as surety to the court.

Incidentally, the lawsuit dates back to 1997 and was filed by a lawyer from Jharkhand, erstwhile Bihar. The actor was charged with obscenity and defamation under Sections 500, 504 and 294 of Indian Penal Code over the lyrics of Ek Chumma Tu Mujho Udhar De De from the movie Chhote Sarkar (1996).

In the pre-transit bail plea application, the Hero No. 1 star has argued that the song wasn’t meant to defame any community, religion or region. The actor also reasoned that he hasn’t written the lyrics and has only performed to it.

Prior to today’s hearing, a magistrate court in Pakur district on February 6 pronounced the actor as a “proclaimed offender” and asked him to appear in person on March 6.

Following the proceedings, a non-bailable warrant was issued against Govinda with the police turning up at his door on February 27.

Talking about his big screen projects, Govinda has recently featured in his comeback film, Aa Gaya Hero. Helmed by Dipankar De, the movie also stars Ashutosh Rana, Chandrachur Singh, Richa Sharma and Murali Sharma.