Model and wannabe actress Preeti Jain was on Friday sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by a court in Mumbai for plotting to murder Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar 12 years ago.
Sessions judge S M Bhosale also sentenced co-accused Naresh Pardeshi to three years’ jail term, while another accused, Shivram Das, got two years’ imprisonment.
The court later granted bail to all the three and suspended their sentences for four weeks, to enable them file appeals.
Two other accused were acquitted for lack of evidence.
According to the prosecution, Jain approached Pardeshi, an aide of gangster Arun Gawli, in 2005 saying she wanted to have Bhandarkar killed, and paid him Rs 75,000 for the job.
A year before, Jain had alleged that Bhandarkar had raped her multiple times after promising her a role in one of his films.
Jain later demanded her money back from Pardeshi and others for not carrying out the task. In the meantime, police received a tip-off about her attempt to hire gangsters to kill Bhandarkar.
A case was registered in September 2005 and Pardeshi was arrested first, followed by Jain. Subsequently Das, who helped Pardeshi arrange weapons and shooters, was also arrested.
Jain later got bail as the trial began.
Public prosecutor Manohar Khandagle examined 51 witnesses during the trial.
After the court's verdict today, Bhandarkar, without naming anybody, tweeted, ‘Some things are better left unsaid! Some things are better left as they are. Life moves on, so have I.’
Speaking to reporters after she was granted bail by the court, Jain said she had faith in the judiciary and hoped to get justice from the high court.
“I respect the verdict of the sessions court, but I believe that I will get justice from the Bombay high court,” she said.