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November 10, 2001

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Arrest of Lajja stars stayed

Bharati Dubey

A still from Lajja The Bombay high court on Thursday stayed the arrests of filmstars and Rajkumar Santoshi, the producer and director of the film Lajja until November 16.

The order passed by Judge Ranjana Desai on a plea filed by the counsel of Santoshi directed the Bombay police not to arrest actors Madhuri Dixit, Rekha, Mahima Chaudhry, Sonali Bendre, Ajay Devgan, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and director Rajkumar Santoshi .

Advocate Nilesh Pawaskar when contacted said, "A case had been filed by Ram Swaroop, an accused in the Bhawanipur murder case in the Kanpur district court on September 23. Swaroop had stated that as the trial was still in progress, no one had the right to make a film on it. Subsequently, an order was passed by the court asking Santoshi and seven stars associated with the film to be present in court. But none of them received any summons from the court."

"However, Santoshi's office received a call from someone claiming to be a Santoshi's fan from Kanpur. He was asked only to check the facts of the case. But, the man who called himself Rana engaged a lawyer and filed a vakalatnama refuting the charges made by the accused in the Bhawanipur case," said Pawaskar.

"Only after the judge issued summons asking the artistes to be present in court did Rana call up Santoshi's office again. Santoshi's office then asked him to mail them all the files and papers pertaining to the case. But, we received the papers only on October 23 and on that very day arrest warrants were issued to the filmmaker and the stars, directing the Bombay police commissioner to arrest them, " he added.

Santoshi is likely to file a plea in the Kanpur district court asking for the cancellation of the warrants.

ALSO READ:
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