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Sheetal Mafatlal sent to judicial custody till June 12

Last updated on: June 08, 2009 20:26 IST

Sheetal Mafatlal, the president of Mafatlal Luxury, was on Monday remanded to judicial custody till June 12, after she was arrested for allegedly trying to evade Customs duty by not declaring Rs 51 lakh worth of jewellery.

Sheetal, a prominent socialite who was arrested at the airport on Sunday on her return from London, might have to spend one more day in jail as a local court deferred her bail plea until Tuesday.

Normally, an accused is entitled to bail in judicial custody unless it is opposed by the prosecution. However, it is ultimately the court's discretion to grant bail to an accused, legal sources said.

Attired in a peach salwar suit and wearing sunglasses, Sheetal, who her lawyer said is a Non-Resident Indian, sat near the dock in the court. At one stage, she was asked by a court staff to remove her glasses and she promptly did so. Sheetal's husband, Atulya, the scion of Mafatlal Industries, was standing during the entire court proceedings, which lasted for two hours.

Sheetal's arrest followed a tip-off to the police and other authorities by some 'disgruntled' opponents of the Mafatlal family and industry, defence lawyer Satish Maneshinde claimed.

Prosecutor Arun Gupte contended that Sheetal was guilty of offences under the Customs Act which were non-bailable.

He alleged that she had smuggled goods including jewellery worth Rs 53.67 lakh. She had not declared these goods and walked through the green channel, he said.

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