Court summons Madhur Bhandarkar in Preeti Jain case

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Old 20-Sep-2011
Court summons Madhur Bhandarkar in Preeti Jain case

Mumbai: A local Mumbai court Monday issued summons to National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar in a 2004 rape case filed against him by aspiring actress Preeti Jain.

With the director being finally asked to appear before the court, an elated Jain told Gulf News: "It was a landmark order today at the Andheri Railway Mobile Court that has issued process against Bhandarkar for the offence of rape under threat and criminal intimidation with threat to life, based on concrete evidence and witnesses on record."

Her lawyer S.Kunjuraman told this paper that "Bhandarkar has been asked to appear before this court on October 18 for committing offences under Section 376 and 506 Part II of the Indian Penal Code." The non-bailable offences for rape and criminal intimidation carries a punishment of imprisonment for seven years.

Ever since Jain lodged a complaint with the Versova police against the director in 2004 for allegedly raping her several times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of marrying her and making promises of casting her as an actress in his movies, the case has seen many twists and turns.

A B' summary report filed by the Versova police in May 2008 stated there was no proof to back Jain's allegations and that it was made "out of vengeance," said her earlier lawyer Nilesh Pawaskar.

Jain later filed an application in court requesting further investigation into the matter even as the police again filed a case in 2009 repeating their earlier statements. The report was however rejected by the court which said that further investigation should be done and Jain's statement was recorded in 2010.

Bhandarkar, well-known for his realistic and issue-based films like Chandni Bar, Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion, has been constantly denying the charge.

Jain, who now spells her name as Pretti Jaiin, said: "I want a strong message to go out to society through my case that women are not sex objects and no one is above law. I want to underline the fact that my case is against a man who happens to be a director. I have no bias at all against producers and directors in general. I hold the film industry in the highest esteem."

However she intended to "continue my quest for justice because it is a question of my self-respect and dignity," she said.

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