In some relief to Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, who was named in a cheating case along with three directors of a health and wellness centre, the Telangana High Court has directed police not to take any coercive steps against them for four weeks. Justice G Sri Devi on Tuesday ordered notice to the complainant on a petition by the directors of the start-up and the actor to quash the criminal proceedings against them.
The court gave interim direction to the police not to take any coercive steps against the petitioners till the next date of hearing. Complainant Shashikanth and the police have been directed to file their counter within four weeks.
Roshan was named in the cheating case along with three directors of CultFit Healthcare Pvt Ltd, following a complaint by its client alleging that "false promises" were made by the company regarding weight loss. Shashikanth had alleged that he was not given daily workout sessions at Cultfit fitness centre though he paid the fee for "unlimited" classes.
However, the company claimed he had behaved "inappropriately and violently" with its staff and "wrongly" dragged Roshan into the issue. The man lodged a complaint with the police in Hyderabad on June 22 alleging that in November 2018 he enrolled at the fitness centre by paying Rs 17,490 as member for a 10-month period for unlimited classes, but was "cheated by not giving workout sessions daily".
Following the complaint, a case under IPC sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) was registered against the actor, being the firm's brand ambassador and three senior officials of the company, police said.
The three directors and the actor moved the High Court seeking to quash the FIR against them and in their petition submitted that they have been implicated falsely without there being any incriminating material to connect them with the alleged offences. The petitioners submitted that the complainant's membership was terminated due to "physical violence" towards a staff member of the company and that his pro-rata membership fee was refunded.
They further submitted that the actor was engaged by the company only as a brand ambassador and he has no role either in the business transactions, functioning or day-to-day operations of the company and that the complainant has deliberately made him an accused to malign his image in public.