Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday permitted Bollywood actress Monica Bedi, to access her two savings accounts, frozen since 2002 when she was arrest along with mafia don Abu Salem in Lisbon September 2002 and deported from Portugal in November 2005.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had frozen the two accounts - at HDFC Bank’s Versova branch, at Andheri - on the grounds as they wanted to investigate whether or not they contained the ill-gotten wealth of her alleged boyfriend, Abu Salem.
A division bench of the court had, two weeks ago, asked the CBI to file an affidavit as to why it had not de-frozen the accounts.
Her lawyer had claimed that Bedi (35) had been acquitted in all the cases against her, except one and in this also, her appeal was pending before the Supreme Court.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the CBI contended that it had not found any evidence to prove that the money in the accounts could be tainted and said it had no objections to defreeze them.
Bedi’s lawyer told IANS that armed with the high court order, his client would be able to access and operate her bank accounts very soon, “probably by next week.”
Bedi and Salem were arrested in Lisbon on September 2002 for entering Portugal using forged documents.
After a nearly four-year long legal battle, the duo was deported to India by Portugal on November 11, 2005 after India assured that Salem would not get the death penalty.
In 2006, a CBI court in Hyderabad convicted Bedi in a passport forgery case. However, she was acquitted by a Bhopal court on similar charges in July 2007 due to lack of evidence.
She was released from jail in Hyderabad July 2007 and later attempted to re-start her Bollywood career.
Among others, Bedi was seen in “Big Boss” season 2 and “Jhalak Dikhlaa Ja” and is reportedly acting in some south India movies.