Casting Couch? Rani Mukerji's brother Raja arrested on molestation charges

New Delhi, Oct. 15 -- Bollywood star Rani Mukerji's brother Raja was arrested in Mumbai on Sunday after television actress Priya Mishra accused him of molesting her. The police said that Raja tried to molest her in his car.

"The woman had gone to show Raja Mukherjee a script. He tried to molest her in the car," IBN Live quoted ACP Narsingh Sherkhan as saying.

"Raja was sent for a medical test and then taken into police custody. He is currently lodged in Andheri jail," reported the news website.

"According to the police, the complainant is an aspirant movie director, who wanted to cast Rani Mukerji in her movie and had approached Raja. The woman claims that she had gone to meet Raja to discuss Rani Mukherji's casting when he molested her," reported ndtv.com.

A case under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against him. He will be produced in court on Monday.

Raja Mukherjee is a producer. He's currently working on his first directorial project. He has a daughter with wife Jyoti.

Bollywood and the casting couch

This is a recent controversy for a context which has been surfacing with it's ugly reality time and again in Bollywood. Here're some blasts from the past:

Onir-Yuvraj Parashar

In 2011, actor Yuvraj Parashar claimed that director Onir invited him to his house and molested him. The filmmaker had said: "This is a lie and blackmail for cheap publicity."

Madhur Bhandarkar-Preeti Jain

In July 2004, actor Preeti Jain lodged a complaint against filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar alleging that he had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004, under the pretext of casting her as actor in his films. Madhur insists the complaint was of "cheating" and did not mention rape.

Dibaker Banerjee-Payal Rohatgi

In March 2011, actor Payal Rohatgi accused filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee of trying to take advantage of her physically. Payal said, "Dibakar commented that I had gained weight. He asked me to show him my stomach. I didn't like it." Dibakar said she made the comments to malign his image.

Irrfan Khan-Mamata Patel

Irrfan Khan was accused of deceitful intimacy by actor Mamata Patel who worked with him in Paan Singh Tomar. Mamata said that Irrfan exploited her during the outdoor shoot of the film and threatened her to stay mum about their relation and also promised her meaty roles in future projects.

Subhash Ghai-Rina Golan

New York-raised Rina Golan in her book Dear Mister Bollywood: How I Fell In Love with India, Bollywood and Shah Rukh Khan, named industry veterans Subhash Ghai, Anup Jalota and Anees Bazmee in her biography, claiming that they all asked her for sexual favours when she met them for work.

Ismail Darbar-Poonam Yadav

Music director Ismail Darbar was accused of being responsible for Sa Re Ga Ma contestant Poonam Yadav's supposed pregnancy, abortion and a suicide attempt that followed. Poonam slammed the accusations saying, "Ismail sir has been my pillar of strength. Don't drag his name into this."

Rajkumar Santoshi-Mamta Kulkarni

Actor Mamta Kulkarni had accused filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi of asking her for sexual favours on the sets of China Gate and said that when she refused, he cut her role. Santoshi denied all rumours and post this incident Mamta lost out many roles in Bollywood, and her career was cut short.

Follow us at @htShowbiz

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.