Mumbai, Jun 8 Businesswoman Sheetal Mafatlal was today remanded in judicial custody till June 12 after she was arrested for allegedly trying to evade duty by not declaring Rs 51 lakh worth jewellery in what is being claimed as a result of a tip-off by her “disgruntled opponent”.
Sheetal, a prominent socialite and the president of Mafatlal luxury who was arrested at the airport yesterday on her return from London, might have to spend one more day in jail as a local court deferred her bail plea until tomorrow.
Normally, an accused is entitled to bail in judicial custody unless it is opposed by prosecution. However, it is ultimately the court’s discretion to grant bail to an accused, legal sources said.
Attired in a peach salwar suit and wearing sunglasses, Sheetal, who her husband and lawyer said is a Non-Resident Indian, was in the court sitting near the dock. At one stage, she was gestured by a court staff to remove her glasses and she promptly did so.
Sheetal’s husband, Atulya Mafatlal, the scion of Mafatlal Industries, was standing during the entire court proceedings which lasted for two hours.
Sheetal’s arrest followed a tip-off to police and other authorities by some “disgruntled” opponents of the Mafatlal family and industry, Defence lawyer Satish Maneshinde claimed outside a local court where she was to be produced.
Prosecutor Arun Gupte contended that Sheetal was guilty of offences under Customs Act which were non-bailable. He alleged that she had smuggled goods including jewellery worth Rs 53.67 lakh. She had not declared goods and walked through the green channel, he said.