New Delhi, Feb 21: Nearly four years after the Mumbai Police filed a case of molestation and intimidation against industrialist Ness Wadia on a complaint registered by Bollywood actor Preity Zinta, the city police Tuesday filed a chargesheet in the Esplanade court. According to a senior official, the chargesheet was filed against Wadia under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to a report in "The Indian Express", The incident in question had taken place at Wankhede Stadium on May 30, 2014 during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match. The court released Wadia on a personal bond of Rs 20,000. Wadia’s counsel Abad Ponda confirmed the development. In June 2014, Zinta had lodged a complaint with the Marine Drive police station in south Mumbai. The two are co-owners of Kings XI Punjab IPL team.
A fortnight after registering the complaint, the actor had written on Facebook that neither money nor publicity was the motive behind filing the complaint. The same month, while recording her statement before the police, the actor had said Wadia was abusing the team staff over ticket distribution when she was seated below the air-conditioned box in the Garware Pavilion.
She asked him to calm down as their team was winning. However, he abused her and even molested her by grabbing her arm, she told the police. In pursuance of her case, the actor had even submitted four photographs, which showed ‘bruise-like’ marks on her right arm, to the police. She had claimed the ‘injury marks’ were caused when Wadia allegedly grabbed her with force. The photographs were reportedly clicked by a friend. In July that year, Wadia had shared the names of nine people who he claimed were present at the stadium and requested the police to record their statements.
While the police were initially unable to contact them as their contact details were not shared, the statement of all the witnesses were subsequently recorded. In August 2014, Gene Goodenough, an American national whom Zinta married in February 2016, had sent his statement to the police through email in connection with the case. “In his statement, Goodenough supported the claims made by his wife, stating that he had intervened when Wadia molested and abused Zinta.