Govinda pleads not guilty; trial to begin in April

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Former Member of Parliament and actor Govinda pleaded 'not guilty' before a magistrate court on Saturday.

The court framed charges against the actor in a case in which he allegedly slapped a visitor at his film set in 2008. The trial is likely to begin on April 24.

Thirty-year-old Santosh Rai had first filed a non-cognisable complaint against the actor on February 5, 2009.

The incident allegedly took place on January 16, 2008, on the sets of Money Hai Toh Honey Hai in Goregaon when Rai, an aspiring actor, went to meet Govinda.

Rai filed a private complaint before a magistrate allegedly after the police did not take action on his earlier complaint.

In March last year, the magistrate granted bail to Govinda.

"I came to Mumbai from Kolkata to become an actor. I was a big fan of Govinda, which is why I went to meet him," said Rai.

Rai, who argues his case without a lawyer, said he had filed a complaint under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (assault or criminal force) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

"Since he (Govinda) has pleaded not guilty, the trial will now proceed from April 24," Rai said.

He added that the court has retained the sections of the IPC while framing charges against the accused.

The actor had refused to apologise about the alleged incident, saying that Rai's complaint was politically motivated.

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