Mumbai, Mar 3: Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta, who is facing cheating and forgery charges, was today granted interim bail till March 5 by a local court, three days after he was booked for alleged misuse of the name of Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office for the launch of his film ‘Shootout at Wadala’.
“Gupta moved an anticipatory bail application today before principal judge Swapna Joshi, who granted the film director interim bail till March 5,” Gupta’s lawyer Aabad Ponda told PTI.
Fearing arrest, Gupta did not appear before the police and applied for anticipatory bail.
According to police, Gupta and Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Motion Pictures allegedly forged letterhead of the city police commissioner to send invitations for the press conference of their forthcoming flick held on Tuesday at Mehboob Studios.
Gupta, Balaji Motion Pictures (Producer) and Glamsham.com (Bollywood movie portal) have been booked for cheating and forgery as they misused the name of the office of the Mumbai Police Commissioner by using the rubber stamp of police to promote their film, police said.
The invite also said the police chief would be present at the event and brief the media on the current status of crime in the city, police said.
The accused were booked under sections 417 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 Forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 474 (Having possession of document described in Section 466 or 467, knowing it to be forged and intending to use it as genuine) of the IPC and 68 of the IT Act, the police said, adding that arrests in the case could be made.
The “Dus Kahaniyan” and “Shootout at Lokhandwala” producer had said a “misunderstanding” had resulted in the police action as the invite itself was “mock”.
“It is a bit of a misunderstanding but we will clear it, not an issue,” he had said on coming to know of the case.
“If we look at it then you would know that nowhere the word Mumbai is mentioned. The emblem is mock....We know what we are doing. Also, there is a disclaimer behind the invite and it is an invite from a fictional office..We all know it is not Bombay Police, it is Mumbai police today,” he had said.
Sources in the police department said the arrests would be made only after a thorough investigation. But, if arrested, the accused would have to seek bail from court as the sections applied against are non-bailable, they said.
The FIR was registered at Versova police station as Gupta’s office falls within its jurisdiction, though the event was organised at suburban Bandra. The subject of the invite was “Briefing on the current crime scenario in Bombay”.
“Shootout at Wadala”, a sequel to Gupta’s 2007 film “Shootout at Lokhandwala” is based on the first-ever registered encounter by Mumbai police of gangster Manya Surve, who was shot dead at suburban Wadala in the 1990s.
The film, directed by Gupta and starring John Abraham, Kangana Ranaut, Anil Kapoor, Sonu Sood and Manoj Bajpayee, is slated to release on December 7 this year.