The Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed the arrest of Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha in connection with a criminal case lodged against her for allegedly cheating an event organiser in Moradabad. The actress and four others were booked in the case last month. In a complaint on November 24 last year, an event organiser, Pramod Sharma, had alleged that he paid Rs 24 lakh to a company to invite Sinha for a prize distribution function in Delhi and that the actress had confirmed her presence, but did not turn up, police had said. According to them, the complainant, a resident of Shivpuri in Moradabad, said that in total he paid Rs 37 lakh, which included transferring a huge amount to Sinha.
Disposing of a writ petition filed by Sinha, a division bench comprising Justice Naheed Ara Moonis and Justice Virendra Kumar Srivastava Friday directed that she will not be arrested till submission of report by police after completion of investigation into the matter. The court however ordered Sinha to cooperate with police in the investigation and appear as and when called upon to assist in the probe. "It is clarified that the petitioner shall not be subjected to any embarrassment or harassment in the intervening period," the HC said. It, however, declined the actress' plea of quashing the FIR against her saying, "From perusal of the FIR, prima facie cognisable offences is made out at this stage against the petitioner. Therefore, we do not find any cogent reason to quash the FIR."
During the course of hearing, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the FIR has been lodged by the complainant containing absolutely false and concocted allegations against the petitioner with the ulterior intention of exerting pressure upon her. Sinha's management agency had earlier denied the charge against her, saying despite repeated reminders, the organiser failed to make payments to the actress before the event as contracted.