Mumbai News: Special CBI Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Woman Accused In Bribe-For-Censor Certificate Case

Mumbai News: Special CBI Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Woman Accused In Bribe-For-Censor Certificate Case

The complaint said that Menaga took an additional Rs20,000 in her account as coordinating fees.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, March 30, 2024, 10:18 PM IST
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A special CBI court has granted anticipatory bail to Mumbai resident Merlin Menaga, who is one of the accused in the bribe-for-censor certificate case. Filed on October 4, 2023, the offence relates to the Tamil film Mark Antony, helmed by actor Vishal Krishna. He alleged that Menaga and other accused, including unknown officials of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), Mumbai, entered into a criminal conspiracy. They forced him to pay Rs6.54 lakh in lieu of issuing a censor certificate for Mark Antony's hindi-dubbed version.

Menaga's Concerns Over Potential Arrest And Court's Grant of Relief

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said that it would not arrest Menaga as she had cooperated during the probe. However, her lawyer contended that though the agency has given an assurance, it can arrest her any day, claiming she is no longer cooperative. Even the CBI accepted the argument.

The court asked Menaga to explain the reason behind her apprehension that she will be arrested. Her lawyer then pointed out that the CBI has categorically claimed that the charges levelled against her are non-bailable, hence there looms a threat of arrest. Granting relief, the court said, “In view of the facts and circumstances, the applicant has made out the case that she has reason to believe that she may be arrested on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence.”

Vishal's Manager Files Complaint Against CBFC Officials

In the complaint filed by Vishal's manager, it is alleged that Menaga was hand in gloves with Jeeja Ramdas, Rajan M and unknown public servants of the CBFC, Mumbai. Initially, they demanded a bribe of Rs7 lakh to issue the required censor certificate. After negotiation with one Hari Krishna, administrative officer of M/s Vishal Film factory, Menaga agreed to accept Rs6.54 lakh on behalf of the CBFC officials in accounts of Ramdas and Rajan. The complaint further said that Menaga took an additional Rs20,000 in her account as coordinating fees. 

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