The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the rape case filed against film director Madhur Bhandarkar by a struggling actress eight years ago.
A bench of Justice HL Dattu and Justice CK Prasad set aside the Bombay High Court order that had confirmed the magistrate's direction to issue summons against Bhandarkar. The trial court had refused to accept the police's closure report favouring the director. On the complainant's application the court had initiated proceedings against the director.
Bhandarkar's appeal before the HC too was not entertained as the court had earlier this year directed him to face trial. His counsel Shivaji Jadhav said: “While holding that the magistrate had adopted an incorrect procedure it also recorded the complainant's statement that she wasn't willing to carry on with the case."
In July 2004, the actress had lodged a complaint with the Versova police alleging that Bhandarkar had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004 on the pretext of casting her in his films. She had further alleged that Bhandarkar had promised to marry her, but went back on his word.
Finding merit in the complainant's case, the trial court had last year rejected two closure reports filed by the police that gave a clean chit to Bhandarkar. In September 2011, the police had filed a report stating that the case against him was “maliciously false”.
The Case Timeline
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar
Preeti Jain had lodged a complaint against Madhur Bhandarkar claiming that he had raped her several times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of marrying her and casting her as actress in his movies.
September 2011: A Mumbai metropolitan court had found substance in Jain's complaint, and issued processes against Bhandarkar, directing him to face the trial.
November 2011: The magistrate court had granted anticipatory bail to the Bollywood filmmaker in the case.
March 2012: The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected the application of filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar to stay the process against him in a Mumbai metropolitan court in the Preeti Jain rape case.
Following the Bombay high court’s rejection, Bhandarkar decided to move the Supreme Court seeking relief in the alleged rape case filed by Preeti Jain.