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Monica sent back to jail

ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Monica Bedi being escorted by a CBI official to Nampally criminal court in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: Mohd. Yousuf  

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD : After two days of interrogation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Monica Bedi, the companion of underworld don Abu Salem, was sent back to jail on Saturday to serve the remainder of her judicial custody till November 25.

She was produced before the Special Court for CBI cases here at 2.45 p.m., 15 minutes before the expiry of the 48-hour deadline set for her custody with the CBI. The court wanted her to be produced before it when she was handed over for question on Thursday.

Ms. Bedi told judge C.V. Subrahmanyam that she did not have any complaints of harassment by interrogators. To another question of the judge on her marital status, she replied that she was single. She signed a document in the presence of the judge after giving the replies. She was later asked to be seated in an adjoining room as the court proceedings continued. In the light of the scuffle with photographers and videographers of media when she was shifted from the CBI office at Sultan Bazar to the judge's residence and later on to the Chanchalguda women's prison last Saturday, the police stepped up security.

Petition opposed

There were also the gun-toting commandos of the police in addition to the regular uniformed force. Ms. Bedi tried to cover her face with a scarf.

Senior Public Prosecutor of the CBI T. Venkata Ramana filed a petition for taking her specimen signatures for the purpose of tallying them with the ones used for securing a fake passport. As per law, signatures obtained in police custody are inadmissible. They have to be necessarily taken in court.

Ms. Bedi's lawyer G. Babu Rao opposed the petition of the Public Prosecutor. When he sought time to file a counter in this regard, the judge permitted him to do so on Monday. Mr. Rao filed a memo seeking to talk to Ms. Bedi in the court for five minutes. But, this was disallowed by the judge on security grounds. He, however, directed the jail authorities to arrange a meeting for him with Ms. Bedi.