The railway mobile court, Andheri sentenced Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi to one year imprisonment on Saturday for assaulting his neighbour in 2005.
The magistrate Amitabh Panchbhai also imposed a fine of Rs20,000 on the actor. The court has ordered Pancholi to pay the complainant Prateek Pashni, the neighbour who he assaulted.
The court refused to grant any leniency to Pancholi while sentencing him. The court observed that, “It would be a class prejudice if a famous film star is sorted out. The pronouncement of the sentence must be fair and free from any the prejudice whatsoever.”
The court also observed that as Pancholi does not have a criminal history, he can be awarded a minimum sentence with fine.
The actor later moved a bail application and sought a suspension of the sentence till he moves an appeal before the sessions court. He was released on bail on the condition that he pays the fine.
A decade earlier, Pancholi picked a fight with his neighbour over a parking issue. Pashni said that on August 21, he had gone to the market. When he returned in the evening, he saw a car parked at the spot allocated to him. He then parked his car behind the other one.
Pashni said his watchman called him at 8pm and asked him to move his car. The two argued over the intercom before he agreed. When he came downstairs intending to take the car out, Pancholi came and started assaulting him, said Pashni.
He said Pancholi also assaulted his father when he tried to intervene. The next day, Pashni registered a complaint with Versova police station. Pancholi was booked under section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 325(Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 501 (2) (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court convicted the actor for causing grievous hurt to the complainant. However, Pancholi was acquitted in regard to the other charges.
Public prosecutor A H Nandgiri, while arguing on the quantum of sentence pleaded that the actor should be sentenced to prison, to send a message to society. Pancholi’s advocate, Mangesh Rangnekar said the actor should be let off and a lenient view be taken. He said imposing a fine on Pancholi was sufficient.
The court however, accepted the prosecution’s plea.