Actress Monica Bedi’s conviction upheld, sentence cut (Lead)

November 9th, 2010 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the conviction of Bollywood actress Monica Bedi in a passport forgery case, but reduced the sentence to the imprisonment already undergone.

An apex court bench of Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar in their judgment did not accept Monica Bedi’s contention that her conviction and sentencing in India was a case of “double jeopardy”.

Bedi contended that she had already been tried in a passport forgery case by a court in Portugal in 2003 and undergone two years’ imprisonment.

Bedi was arrested in Lisbon Sep 18, 2002, by Portuguese police for staying in the country on forged travel documents. Besides Bedi, her friend and underworld don Abu Salem and another person Syed Haider were also arrested.

Bedi and Salem were deported to India by Portuguese authorities Nov 11, 2005.

The forged passport on which Bedi was travelling was issued in the name of Samiya Mallick Kamal by the passport office in Hyderabad.

The trial court in Hyderabad convicted her for conspiracy and cheating in obtaining the forged passport and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment.

However, her sentence was reduced to three years by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

The apex court, while upholding her conviction, further reduced her sentence to the imprisonment she had already undergone.

She has served two years and six months in jail in the case.

She faced another passport forgery case in Bhopal where she was accused of having allegedly procured a passport in the name of Fauzia Usman. In this case, she was acquitted by the trial court July 17, 2007.

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