Bhopal, Oct 26 (UNI) A local court today recorded the statement of a witness against underworld don Abu Salem's girlfriend and former Bollywood starlet Monica Bedi in the fake passport case.
Amidt strict security, Gandhinagar locality-resident Naseem deposed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Dinesh Kumar Dangi. Public Prosecutor Ramesh Motwani and Monica were also present.
''I never saw Monica, Salem, his wife Samira, Kabir and Siraj in Gandhinagar,'' Mr Naseem said. One of the passports stated that Monica as a permanent resident of Gandhinagar.
Defence Counsel P C Bedi submitted an application that he be provided more time for studying the case but the bench rejected it.
''The accused is constantly appointing new counsels and more time is being repeatedly sought. The court does not consider this as proper,'' Mr Dangi said. Monica's former counsel Santosh Verma was present.
Monica, who is incarcerated at the Central Jail here, was brought to the packed court premises at about 1330 hrs. Clad in a black t-shirt and blue jeans, she was surrounded by women police personnel. The hearing will continue tomorrow. The public prosecutor submitted a list of 32 witnesses and two have deposed earlier.
On October 12, Monica was brought here from Hyderabad -- where she has already been convicted in another case -- and a hearing took place through video-conferencing the following day. Charges were framed on October 16 and recording of witnesses' statements began a day later. Accused Siraj's application for being converted into a government witness is pending.
On November 28, 2001, a case was registered at the Koh-i-Fiza Police Station against Salem, his wife Samira Jumani and Monica for having fake passports made at the regional passport office using the names Danish Baig, Rubina Baig and Fauzia Osman respectively.
Salem's local associates Saiyyad Abdul alias Abdul Siraj and his brother Kabir alias Baba Abu are out on bail.
Salem and Monica were brought to India from Portugal on November 11, 2005. Monica was first presented in the local court in December 2005.
UNI AG-AC RR RN1648