The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted exemption from personal appearance to Mumbai-based Bhojpuri actress Rani Chatterjee facing a criminal case in Bihar filed by producer Vinod Kumar Priyadarshini.
A bench of justices TS Thakur and Gyan Sudha Misra also issued notices to the producer on the actress' plea for transferring the case from Mothihari to any other court in Thane in Maharashtra where she is residing.
Priyadarshini had filed a private complaint in the court of chief judicial magistrate in Motihari alleging that the actress had entered into a contract with him to act in his proposed film Himmat Chahi Pyar Kare Ke, but later retracted on the assurance after collecting Rs 2 lakh advance money from him.
On the basis of the complaint registered under IPC Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (breach of trust) and 120B (criminal conspiracy), the magistrate issued her summons and refused to dispense with her plea from personal exemption.
Chatterjee's counsel Atulesh Kumar told the bench that the complaint was motivated and done deliberately to harass her. He contented that there was no contract or any such agreement as alleged by the producer.
Moreover, he argued that even if there was any such contract the same was civil dispute in nature and criminal proceedings could not have been initiated against the actress.
Atulesh urged the court to transfer the case to Thane as it would be difficult for his client to travel 2000 km to attend the court proceedings.
Chatterjee has acted as leading lady with several prominent Bhojpuri heroes like Ravi Kishan, Manoj Tiwari and Manoj Pandey.