Bollywood actress Koena Mitra, who has been away from the limelight for quite some time, is making headlines. She has been convicted by a metropolitan magistrate’s court in a cheque bouncing case and sentenced to six months’ simple imprisonment earlier this month. The actress was also asked to pay Rs 4.64 lakh, including an interest component of Rs 1.64 lakh, to the complainant, model Poonam Sethi.
Poonam Sethi filed a case against Koena Mitra in 2013 after her cheque bounced for “want of funds”. Mitra has, however, denied the allegations and is expected to challenge the judgment. While passing the order, Magistrate Ketaki Chavan of the Andheri Metropolitan Court rejected almost all the arguments offered by Koena Mitra.
Among the contentions raised on Mitra’s behalf, a significant one was that Sethi did not have enough financial capacity to lend Rs 22 lakh. According to the case details, actress Koena had borrowed Rs 22 lakh from Sethi over a period of time. During the repayment of this loan, Mitra gave a cheque of Rs 3 lakh to Sethi, which was dishonoured by the bank. Poonam Sethi had sent a legal notice to Mitra on July 19, 2013 (mandatory as per the provisions of the Negotiable Instruments Act before the complainant can take action).
Mitra, however, failed to repay the amount even at this stage. Sethi then filed a complaint in the court on October 10, 2013. During the court hearing, Mitra denied all allegations and sought to defend herself mainly on two grounds: that Sethi did not have the financial capacity to lend Rs 22 lakh, and that she stole her cheques. The magistrate, however, did not accept her defense.
The magistrate, however, observed that Mitra’s argument about Sethi’s financial capacity could not be accepted and that Mitra had also contended that she was lending money illegally. The court held that the two contentions were mutually contradictory.