A Mumbai court has convicted actor Koena Mitra in a cheque bounce case and sentenced her to six months' imprisonment.
In an order passed on July 6, Andheri metropolitan court magistrate Ketaki Chavan also directed Mitra to pay a compensation of Rs 4.64 lakh to model Poonam Sethi, the complainant in the case.
The court was hearing a 2013 case, as per which Mitra borrowed Rs 22 lakh from Sethi over a period of time, but failed to return the entire amount.
As per the court order, Mitra issued a cheque of Rs 3 lakh to Sethi to repay a loan, but it was dishonoured by the bank.
On July 19, 2013, Sethi issued a legal notice to Mitra over the dishonoured cheque.
When Mitra failed to return the money following the notice, Sethi, on October 10, 2013, filed a complaint to initiate proceedings against her under the Negotiable Instruments Act.
Mitra pleaded not guilty before the court and said she wanted to face trial.
During the trial, the actor's lawyer argued, among other things, that Sethi was a "small type" model who could not have had the wherewithal to lend her Rs 22 lakh.
Her lawyer also alleged that Sethi ran an illegal money lending business.
The court, however, dismissed the arguments.
"Merely because she (Sethi) did not enter into any service contract with production houses for modelling or in 2012-13 she was doing 'small type' of modelling as compared to the accused, who was allegedly a well-known film artist even prior to 2012-13, will not affect the capacity of Poonam to advance such friendly loan to the accused," the court said.
The magistrate said if Mitra failed to pay the compensation amount to Sethi, she will have to undergo further imprisonment for three months.
Mitra has acted in films like "Musafir", "Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena" and "Apna Sapna Money Money".