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Madhur relief

New Delhi, April 9: The Supreme Court has allowed filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar some relief for now by staying proceedings against him in a case of cheating and rape, filed by starlet Preeti Jain.

The court today also issued notices to Preeti and the state of Maharashtra seeking their replies to the petition filed by Bhandarkar, challenging a Mumbai metropolitan court’s decision to try him.

Preeti had lodged a complaint against Bhandarkar on July 22, 2004, alleging that he had induced her into a relationship with him by promising her marriage and roles in his films.

She first issued legal notices against Bhandarkar but later filed a criminal case against him accusing him of cheating, rape and criminal intimidation.

Preeti is believed to be depending on recent court interpretations of Section 375 of the IPC, which holds any inducement of marriage by a man to get a woman to co-habit with him tantamount to rape.

Preeti’s claim that she was promised marriage found favour with a trial court though Mumbai police said her claims were false and malicious. On September 19, 2011, the metropolitan court asked Bhandarkar to respond to Preeti’s claims.

Bhandarkar moved Bombay High Court to have the proceedings quashed but failed. He then approached the Supreme Court.