A sessions court in Mumbai that granted actor Alok Nath anticipatory bail in a rape case on Saturday, observed that he could have been falsely implicated. Judge SS Oza claimed that writer-director Vinta Nanda may have delayed filing a complaint of rape for “her own benefit”, the Hindustan Times reported.

In his order, the judge said Nanda “remembered the entire incident but she did not remember the date and month of incident”. The judge added that promptness in filing a first information report is an “assurance of the truth of informant’s version”. He said that without such prompt filing, it becomes possible that the complainant has described an exaggerated or “coloured” version of the incident, or just concocted her story.

Oza added that in view of all these considerations, it cannot be ruled out that Nath has been falsely implicated in the case. Nath had applied for anticipatory bail on December 14.

The judge also said that there is nothing on record to show that Nath made any threats to Nanda against filing an FIR, The Indian Express reported. He said that Nanda did not file a complaint as she was told that no one would believe her because Nath is a “big actor”. “Thus, it reveals that complainant did not lodge the report immediately after alleged incident of her own benefit,” Ozha concluded.

The judge also said that there was no question of destruction of evidence since the alleged incident took place in Nanda’s house. He added that since both the accused and the complainant were separately married, so a medical examination would serve no purpose.

On October 17, Nanda had filed a complaint at the Oshiwara police station, days after going first going public with her story in a Facebook post. Nanda accused Nath of raping her in her home nearly two decades ago, not long after he was sacked from the popular 1990s television show Tara for harassing its lead actress.

Days after Nanda spoke out about the rape, actor Sandhya Mridul had accused Nath of sexually harassing her years ago while another actor, Deepika Amin, said in a Facebook post that Nath had harassed her during a telefilm shoot.