Approximately after six years, the two junior artistes are sentenced to life imprisonment by the Mumbai Sessions Court for the murder of Meenakshi Thapa, an aspiring model and a budding actor.
Additional Sessions Judge SG Shette awarded the sentence to 41-year-old Amit Jaiswal and his girlfriend Preeti Surin (32) under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 364-A (kidnapping for ransom).
Judge: Additional Sessions Judge S G Shette
Factual Matter Of The Case
According to the prosecution, Jaiswal and Surin, both hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had befriended Thapa (26) on the sets of the Kareena Kapoor starrer film Heroine.
Both the accused used to work as model coordinators. Under the impression that the actor belonged to a rich family, the duo had hatched a conspiracy to abduct her and demanded Rs 15-lakh from her family.
The duo had also persuaded the actor, who had moved to Mumbai from Dehradun only two months ago, to accompany them to Uttar Pradesh on March 12, 2012, stating that there was an acting assignment for her. Subsequently, they had abducted her, but after realising that her family was in no position to pay up, they strangulated her, according to the prosecution.
The remains of the actor’s body, with the head severed, were found in the sewage tank of a house in Allahabad a month after the incident.
The duo had come under the lens of the police as Thapa was last seen with them. Call details and other evidence had confirmed their involvement, a Crime Branch official had said.
A month after her murder, Jaiswal and Surin were arrested when they were withdrawing money, using Thapa’s debit card, from an ATM in suburban Bandra.
Decision of the Court
The prosecution had sought harshest punishment for Jaiswal and Surin saying that this was a barbaric act which should be taken as an aggregating circumstance against the convicts.
However, the judge observed that it was not the rarest of rare case and also the convicts have dependents on them. The court sentenced them to life imprisonment,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.