A Delhi court has imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty for failing to appear before it in a defamation suit filed against him by a stuntman. Chief metropolitan magistrate Savitri, however, allowed the exemption plea of the actor and his advocate Vinit Dhanda 'considering their status' and directed them to deposit a cost of Rs 20,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively.
It is important to note that on the previous date of hearing both accused (Shetty and Dhanda) had moved applications for exemption.
"Though there is no ground to allow the exemption of accuseds, however, in the interest of justice, considering the status of accuseds, I allow exemption of accused Suniel Shetty subject to cost of Rs 20,000 and that of accused Vinit Dhanda subject to cost of Rs 2,000 which will be paid on the next date of hearing," the magistrate said.
The court has now fixed the case for bail of the actor and his lawyer and also for framing of notice.
It was hearing of the defamation case filed in October 2013 against Shetty and Dhanda by Delhi-based stuntman Puran Chauhan, who alleged that the two accused had made false statements before the high court and media that he had beaten one of them and an FIR has also lodged against him.
Chauhan claimed that with the help of his false statement, in 2011, Shetty had managed to obtain stay from the high court on summons issued for him to appear in a case in which the actor was accused of not paying him nearly Rs 1cr.
According to Chauhan, Shetty had told the high court that on March 2011, his lawyer was beaten by the complainant inside a washroom in the court building.
Shetty had also told mediapersons outside the court that an FIR has been lodged against Chauhan and he would be arrested soon, the complainant has claimed, adding that no such beating incident had taken place.