“Victim’s [Payal Ghosh] testimony maybe sufficient in a sexual assault case that took place in a room,”Advocate Nitin Satpute

The noted lawyer, who is the legal counsel for actress Payal Ghosh, says they are in the process of gathering evidence and will soon file an FIR against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap

By Mayur Lookhar

Anurag Kashyap (l), Payal Ghosh

Few days after she accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual assault, actress Payal Ghosh is likely to file an FIR soon, as confirmed by her lawyer Advocate Nitin Satpute.

“We are in the process of filing an FIR against Anurag Kashyap. We are in the process of gathering Whats App chats and other evidence,” Satpute told Beyond Bollywood.

According to Satpute, Ghosh was allegedly assaulted by Kashyap in January 2015. The filmmaker had called Ghosh to his Lokhandwala house on the pretext of giving work in a film. Says Satpute, “On the first day, Ghosh had gone in with her manager. Kashyap had called her alone again next day. He took her to a room, where he removed his clothes and tried to force himself upon her.”

The lawyer claimed that his client wanted to take action then but she was intimidated by Kashyap who allegedly bragged about his clout and how over 200 girls had given in to his such demands. “He told Payal that many girls have done that [comprise] and she should come prepared next time,” said Satpute.

Kashyap has dismissed Ghosh’s allegations as baseless. If they file a case against Kashyap, will this come down to a one person’s word against the other? “We have electronic evidence,” said the lawyer suggesting at the Whats App communication between Kashyap and Ghosh. He adds, “If a sexual offence takes place in a room with just two people [victim and alleged accused], then how can there be a witness. Her testimony is sufficient,” said Satpute.

Meanwhile, Kashyap’s former wife Aarti Bajaj, who divorced him in 2009, and actress Taapsee Pannu have come out in defence of the filmmaker. Bajaj has termed Ghosh’s allegation as a cheap stunt. Pannu, who worked in Kashyap directed Manmarziyaan [2018], had defended Anurag saying, ” As far as I know Anurag , he is one of those people in the industry who have utmost respect for every woman he knows.”

A host of big names have been called out for alleged sexual assault from the time #MeToo movement gained momentum in India a few years ago. Actress Tanushree Dutta had filed a FIR against veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexually harassing her on the sets of the scrapped film Horn Ok Pleassss in 2008. Satpute is also the legal counsel for Dutta.

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