The Supreme Court Monday stayed criminal proceedings against filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar in a rape charge levelled against him by actor Preeti Jain. While staying the proceedings, an apex court bench headed by Justice HL Dattu issued notices to the Maharashtra government and Jain on Bhandarkar’s plea seeking that the case against him be quashed. Bhandarkar had challenged the Bombay High Court order asking him to face trial in the alleged rape case.
In July 2004, Jain had lodged a complaint alleging that Bhandarkar had raped her several times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of marrying her and casting her as an actor in his movies. A Mumbai metropolitan court had, in September last year, found substance in Jain’s complaint, and issued process against Bhandarkar, directing him to face trial. However, the magistrate’s court in November last year had granted anticipatory bail to the Bollywood filmmaker.