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Koena Mitra gets six-month sentence in cheque-bouncing case

Actress Koena Mitra has been convicted by a metropolitan magistrate’s court in a case of cheque bouncing. The actress was also sentenced to simple imprisonment of six months, earlier this month. The case was registered after a complaint was lodged against Koena by model Poonam Sethi. Koena was asked to pay Rs 4.64 lakh, of which Rs 1.64 lakh was the interest component, to the complainant.

The model registered the case against the actress as many as six years ago after her cheque bounced for ‘want of funds.’ Koena, as per a report, however, has refuted these allegations and would be challenging the verdict, in all likelihood. Andheri Metropolitan Court Magistrate Ketaki Chavan rejected most of the arguments raised by Koena.

She contested that the complainant did not have sufficient financial capacity in order to be able to lend Rs 22 lakh. As per the details of the case, Koena borrowed a sum of Rs 22 lakh over a period of time. When it came to the repayment of the loan, Koena offered Sethi a cheque worth 3 lakh, which was later dishonoured by the bank.

Following this, the model sent Koena a legal notice, dated July 19, 2013. In October, the same year, she filed a court complaint. The other point of contention offered by Koena during the hearing in the court that the complainant stole her cheques. She had reportedly further argued that Sethi was lending money illegally. To this, the court held that the arguments were mutually contradicting.

“Furthermore, in the present matter, said cheque is not dishonoured on the count of ‘payment stopped by drawer’. It is dishonoured on the count of ‘funds insufficient’. If at all, it is presumed that complainant took the cheques from the accused’s house, which was blank and misused them, then the option of stopping the payment was very well available with the accused. But she did not do anything like this. Thus, the conduct of accused prior and subsequent to the dishonoured of said cheque constrained me to hold that this defence is afterthought and taken only to evade the liability,” the court, as per the same report, observed.

“The case is totally false and I have been framed in the matter. During the final argument, my lawyer could not be present in the court and hence my side was not heard and the order was passed without my hearing. We will be challenging the judgement in the higher court and my lawyers are in the process of appealing,” the report quoted Mitra as saying.

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Yumna Tirmizi