The Surat District Court on Tuesday rejected the discharge application of Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty’s mother, Sunanda Shetty, in a case filed by the owner of Prafful Sarees alleging extortion attempt, and asked her to be present in the court during the next hearing on September 30.
Sunanda filed the discharge application in the Surat district court through her lawyer Minesh Javeri in 2013, claiming that there was no evidence against her in the case and even the charges were not framed.
On Tuesday, Sunanda was absent during the hearing. Defence lawyer Minesh Jhaveri filed an application with the court requesting to adjourn the hearing and give another date, saying Sunanda Shetty was ill.
Prafful Sarees owner Pankaj Agrawal from Surat lodged the complaint against Shilpa Shetty’s parents — Sunanda Shetty and Surendra Shetty, underworld don Fazl-ur-Rehman, and two others, including hotelier Padmanabham Potiyam, with Umra police station in 2003. Agrawal had alleged that Shilpa’s parents used underworld help to extort Rs 80 lakh from him.
In 1998, Shilpa signed a contract with Prafful Sarees to model in their advertisement, which was to be aired on television for one year. After the advertisement was broadcast for four years, Shilpa’s parents asked Pankaj Agrawal to pay Rs 80 lakh extra as the contract was only for one year.
Sources said that Shilpa’s parents allegedly made Fazl-ur-Rehman call Pankaj Agrawal, demanding the dues of the actor. Agrawal lodged a police complaint with Umra police station in Surat against the parents of Shilpa Shetty, Fazl-ur-Rehman and others. Investigating officers took the statements of Sunanda Shetty, Surendra Shetty, and collected the voice clips of conversation between Sunanda and Surendra Shetty with Pankaj Agrawal. They also got the recording of the conversation between Fazl-ur-Rehman and Pankaj Agrawal.
Surendra Shetty and Sunanda Shetty were granted bail by the Surat district court in August 2003. Surat police arrested underworld don Fazl-ur-Rehman on March 21, 2009, from Tihar jail, where he was lodged since 2006. They recorded his statements and filed chargesheet of 145 pages with evidences of voice spectography in the case on January 23, 2010. Surendra Shetty, however, died due to cardiac arrest on October 14, 2016.
Talking to The Indian Express, defence lawyer Minesh Jhaveri said, “The Surat district court rejected our discharge application and ordered Sunanda Shetty to be present in the court during the next hearing on September 30. There is no evidence found against my client Sunanda Shetty in the police chargesheet, so we filed the discharge application.”