MUMBAI: The sessions court here on Friday awarded life imprisonment to Amit Jaiswal (36) and his girlfriend Preeti Surin (26) in the 2012 murder case of budding actress Meenakshi Thapa.
The court had convicted the duo on Wednesday under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 364-A (kidnapping for ransom). Additional Sessions Judge S G Shette awarded the sentence today.
“The prosecution had sought harshest punishment for Jaiswal and Surin. However, the judge observed that it was not the rarest of rare case and also the convicts have dependents on them. The court sentenced them to life imprisonment,” special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said.
According to the prosecution, model coordinators Jaiswal and Surin, both hailing from Uttar Pradesh, had befriended Thapa (26) on the sets of “Heroine”, a Bollywood film directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. Under the impression that the actor belonged to a rich family, the duo had hatched a conspiracy to abduct her and demand a Rs 15-lakh ransom from her family. Subsequently, they had abducted her, but after realising that her family was in no position to pay up, they strangulated her, beheaded her and tried to destroy her body. Remains of the actors body, with the head severed, were found in the sewage tank of a house in Allahabad a month after the incident.
The duo was arrested about a month after the incident while withdrawing money using Thapas debit card from an ATM at Bandra in suburban Mumbai.