Madhur Bhandarkar Case: High Court extends Preeti Jain’s bail, admits her appeal

Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Monday extended the bail granted to Bollywood starlet Preeti Jain and admitted her appeal challenging a lower court order sentencing her to three years in jail on charge of conspiring to kill filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.

On April 28 this year, a trial court here convicted Jain and two others for conspiring to kill Bhandarkar and sentenced them to three years’ imprisonment. The court had on the same day suspended Jain’s sentence for four weeks and granted her bail till May 25. Jain’s appeal and application seeking extension of the bail granted to her came up for hearing on Monday before a vacation bench of Justice MS Karnik.

“The appeal is admitted. The order dated April 28 of the trial court granting bail to the applicant (Jain) is extended till June 7 when the matter will be listed before a regular bench,” Justice Karnik said.

In the appeal against the conviction, Jain said that the trial court has erred in convicting her. “The trial court has said the FIR was not properly recorded and that the prosecution has not been able to prove the motive theory also against Jain,” Jain’s lawyer Sujit Shelar said.

The case dates to July 2004, when Jain had lodged a complaint against Bhandarkar accusing him of raping her on multiple occasions since 1999 under the pretext of giving her a lead role in his films. Bhandarkar had denied the allegations and the Supreme Court quashed the rape case against him in 2012.

In 2005, Jain was arrested for conspiring to kill the film director. The police claimed the plot came to light when she approached the Akhil Bharatiya Sena to recover Rs 40,000 that she had allegedly paid to one Naresh Pardeshi to eliminate Bhandarkar.

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