A Mumbai court has convicted Bollywood actor Koena Mitra in a cheque bounce case and sentenced her to six months' imprisonment.In an order passed on July 6, 2019, Andheri Metropolitan Court Magistrate Ketaki Chavan directed Mitra to pay a compensation of ₹4.64 lakh to model Poonam Sethi, the complainant in the case.As per 2013 case, Mitra borrowed ₹22 lakh from Sethi over a period of time, but failed to return the entire amount.To repay the loan, Mitra issued a cheque of ₹3 lakh to Sethi, but it was dishonoured by the bank.
On July 19, 2013, Sethi issued a legal notice to Mitra over the dishonoured cheque. Subsequently, when Mitra failed to return the money, Sethi, on October 10, 2013, filed a legal complaint to initiate proceedings against her under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881
.During the trial, the actor's lawyer argued before the court that Sethi was a "small type" model who could not have had the wherewithal to lend her ₹22 lakh.Her lawyer also alleged that Sethi ran an illegal money lending business.The court, however, rejected the arguments by observing that "Merely because she (Sethi) did not enter into any service contract with production houses for modelling or in 2012-13 she was doing 'small type' of modelling as compared to the accused, who was allegedly a well-known film artist even prior to 2012-13, will not affect the capacity of Poonam to advance such friendly loan to the accused.”
The magistrate ordered Mitra to undergo further imprisonment for three months in case she fails to pay the compensation amount to Sethi.