In a major reprieve for Madhur Bhandarkar, a sessions court, on Tuesday, lifted restrictions upon the filmmaker’s movement imposed by a magistrate court a fortnight ago.
The railway mobile metropolitan magistrate court, on November 14, granted bail to Bhandarkar in connection with the case of rape lodged against him by actor Priti Jaiin.
The magistrate court, while granting him bail, had directed Bhandarkar not to leave Mumbai or India without seeking permission from the court, and had also directed him to deposit his passport.
The award-winning filmmaker had challenged these two conditions before the sessions court. His counsel Sayaji Nangre pointed out that the sessions court had imposed similar conditions upon Bhandarkar while granting him anticipatory bail in July 2004 in the same case and had subsequently withdrawn the conditions two months later.
Bhandarkar’s legal team submitted that the magistrate ought to have considered that Bhandarkar was a filmmaker by profession and was required to travel extensively within and outside India to pursue his profession. The sessions court agreed with the submissions and deleted both the conditions, Bhandarkar’s lawyer said.
The sessions court has, however, asked the filmmaker to intimate the police officer concerned from the Versova police station - where an FIR alleging rape has been registered - 15 days in advance in case of foreign trip, and a day in advance if he is moving out of the city.