SC suspends sentence of Cine Actor Jayaprada; grants interim bail

New Delhi, Mar 18 (UNI) The Supreme Court recently suspended the sentence of cine actress Jayaprada in connection with a case against her for her failure to pay contributions to the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).

The counsel of the actress informed the Court that a sum of Rs 9,80,000 has been deposited with ESIC.

A bench comprising Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan on March 15 granted Jayaprada interim bail.

The interim bail was granted to Jayaprada after Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur appearing for her submitted that a sum of Rs 9,80,000 has been deposited with ESIC.

An appeal against her conviction is still pending before a sessions court.

The matter pertains to a case in which Jayaprada and her brothers Ramkumar and Raj Babu were partners of Jayapradha Cine Theatre, which went defunct around ten years ago.

The ESIC alleged that the management of the now-defunct cinema theatre had been deducting ESI amounts from the dues payable to theatre workers but had not been paying these amounts to the State Insurance Corporation.

In August last year, a Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Chennai sentenced Jayaprada to six months in prison on a complaint by the ESIC.

Advocates Manish Kumar Saran and Ananya Tyagi appeared for the ESIC and said an amount of ₹37.68 lakh was said to be outstanding.

After the Magistrate convicted her, she approached the Madras High Court challenging the trial court order.

The High Court rejected her plea for suspension of sentence on October 20, 2023, saying that the actress and the other accused could apply for bail or suspension of sentence before the courts below only after surrendering and depositing ₹20 lakhs each.

Jayaprada then approached the Supreme Court for relief.

Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur and advocates Nachiketa Vajpayee, Praveen Arya and Divyangna Malik, were briefed by a team from the law firm Lawfic.

The Supreme Court had in November granted Jayaprada and her brother exemption from surrendering before the authorities, which has now been extended till the completion of bail formalities within a month.

The Top Court on Friday last directed that, “ During the pendency of the appeals before the Sessions Court, the substantive sentence of Jayaprada shall stand suspended and she shall be enlarged on bail, pending final disposal of the appeals.”

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