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Rape accused Alok Nath to play judge, producer says he was best man for the job

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#MainBhi is a film based on sexual harassment with Alok Nath’s character presiding over a molestation case. Producer Shahwar Ali says the film was shot before the allegations against the actor surfaced.

Mayur Lookhar

Veteran film and television actor Alok Nath, who has been accused of rape by writer-director Vinta Nanda, is playing a judge hearing a molestation case in his next film.

Titled #MainBhi (Hindi for #MeToo), the film is being directed by veteran editor Nasir Hakim.

Speaking to the tabloid Mumbai Mirror, Alok Nath said, “I’m not doing any films at the moment. This was something I shot for a while ago. Is there a problem? You sound sad that I’m doing a film. It’s a puny role for poor producers, let it get released.”

Following the allegations against him, Alok Nath was expelled by CINTAA, the Cine and TV Artistes Association.

While Alok Nath had shot for the film before the allegations against him came out in the open late last year, the producers could have been forgiven for replacing him once the charges surfaced, given the battering the actor's reputation has taken.

But producer Shahwar Ali said he never entertained such thoughts. "I had signed him after the success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018)," Shahwar Ali told Cinestaan.com. "There was no case, no allegation against him then.” 

But given the allegations against the actor, did Shahwar Ali not fear a negative impact on the film's prospects?

“Never!" he responded. "Look, he has done a very good job. He was the best man for the job. He was professional, never gave us any trouble. He got along well with everyone on the sets. He came on time and left by 6:30-7:00pm. What he does after his working hours, I cannot comment on that. Besides, his case is ongoing and there is no judgment passed as yet. As a producer [I can only say] he gave us no trouble. In fact, I have no qualms casting him again.”

Shahwar Ali said his film had been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with a U/A certificate and he is looking to release it within the next two months.

Apart from Alok Nath, the film has actors like Khalid Siddiqui, Imran Khan, Mukesh Khanna, Sonali Raut and Shahbaz Khan.

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Sexual harassment