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Theft of paintings: SC clears way for prosecution of socialite Sheetal Mafatlal

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

In a setback to socialite Sheetal Atulya Mafatlal, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed her plea challenging the Bombay High Court order which had directed her prosecution for allegedly filing a false case regarding theft of 31 paintings.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha was hearing the case in which initially in 2011, Sheetal's step daughter had lodged a complaint with the police that 48 paintings were taken away from their home allegedly by her step-mother.

Acting on her complaint, the trial court had ordered registration of FIR and during the investigation, it was found that Sheetal had kept 31 paintings in a flat of her friend.

Later, the family entered into consent agreement by which custody of 31 paintings was given to Sheetal and proceedings against her were quashed by the court in September 2012.

However, in October 2012, when the police along with Sheetal went to the house of her friend to collect the paintings, she alleged that all the 31 original paintings were duplicate and lodged the complaint.

But, during the probe it was found that Sheetal had kept original paintings in her custody and had prepared duplicate paintings.

The police gave a clean chit to her friend and sought permission of the court to take action against Sheetal for lodging a false complaint.

The magistrate accepted the police report and ordered prosecution against Sheetal as per law.

The order of the magistrate was challenged before the sessions court which, in September 2015, set aside the magisterial court order against Sheetal.

The police thereafter challenged the September 2015 order in the Bombay High Court which set aside the relief given to Sheetal by the sessions court on April 2, 2019.

Subsequently, Sheetal challenged the high court order before the apex court which dismissed her plea on Thursday saying "the special leave petition is dismissed leaving all pleas on facts and law open for the parties. Pending applications stand disposed of".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 18 2019. 20:10 IST