Aan: Men at Work starred Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Shatrughan Sinha, Paresh Rawal, Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon, Irrfan Khan and Lara Dutta. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, the film was released in 2004, the same year that a model, Preeti Jain, filed rape charges against the director. She claimed that the director had repeatedly raped her from 1999 to 2004 under the pretense of matrimony and a starring role in one of his films. Preeti had also showed proof with SMS texts from Bhandarkar, seeking sexual favours, as evidence of her claim.
Almost a year after she filed the complain, Madhur Bhandarkar’s next film Page 3 starring Konkona Sen Sharma and Atul Kulkarni had just released. The 2005 film won the National Award for Best Feature Film, but what was not known then was that Preeti also contracted gangster Arun Gawli to kill the director. She had reportedly paid Rs 75,000 to Gawli’s aide Naresh Pardeshi. According to Hindustan Times, Naresh was supposed to take care of the director with the help of his friend, Shivram Das. When this didn’t happen, Preeti tried to get her money back. News reportedly reached Gawli and he alerted the police.
And that was how Preeti and her two accomplice were arrested. Though the reports suggest that this case’s trial had begun in fast-track court in Sewree, it was later moved to session’s court. Which is why it took almost a decade for a judgement on the case. Initially, Preeti and Naresh Pardeshi were sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of Rs 10,000 for plotting murder. Recent updates suggest that the model got a bail over cash surety of Rs 15,000. In the meantime, Shivram, Pardeshi’s associate, has been sentenced to serve 2 years in prison.
While there are various reports with timelines, there are none that talk about why the model went to the extent of plotting against the National Award winning director.