The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the conviction of Bollywood actress Monica Bedi in a passport forgery case, but reduced the sentence to the imprisonment already undergone.
An apex court bench did not accept Ms Bedi’s contention that her conviction and sentencing in India was a case of “double jeopardy”.
Ms Bedi contended that she had already been tried in a passport forgery case by a court in Portugal in 2003 and undergone two years’ imprisonment.
Ms Bedi was arrested in Lisbon Sep 18, 2002, by Portuguese police for staying in the country on forged travel documents. Her friend and underworld don Abu Salem and another person Syed Haider were also arrested. Ms Bedi and Salem were deported to India by Portuguese authorities on November 11, 2005.
The forged passport on which Ms Bedi was travelling was issued in the name of Samiya Mallick Kamal by the passport office in Hyderabad. The trial court in Hyderabad convicted her for conspiracy and cheating in obtaining the forged passport and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment.
However, her sentence was reduced to three years by the Andhra Pradesh high court. The apex court, while upholding her conviction, further reduced her sentence to the imprisonment she had already undergone and she has served two years and six months in jail in the case.