Since 2008, a case has been working its way through the country’s judicial system— from a metropolitan court to the Bombay High Court and finally to the Supreme Court. All because the accused, actor Govinda, refused to apologise to the complainant, a former fan of the actor whom he had once slapped. The incident had occurred in 2008 on the sets of a long-forgotten film, Money Hai Toh Honey Hai. Govinda had tried to defend his actions claiming that the complainant, Santosh Ray, had kicked the chair on which the actor was sitting and had misbehaved with female artistes. Late last year, when the matter finally came up before the apex court, the judges suggested what common sense prescribed.
They asked the actor to apologise and end the dispute. In response, the actor held a press conference and loudly wondered how the complainant was funding the case. He remarked, “No fan could ever have a behaviour like this… Fans tremendously love artistes… They go out of the way and take police beatings to protect artistes from problems.”
On 9 February, the court on learning that the actor hadn’t yet apologised and was trying to mediate with Ray through his staff, asked the actor to shell out Rs 5 lakh as compensation. Last heard, Govinda was ready to say sorry for the slap.