Kannada actress Maria Susairaj on Saturday walked free in the Neeraj Grover murder case having already served three-year term as undertrial and claimed she is "innocent" at a press interaction marked by protests and high drama.
Maria, sentenced to three-year imprisonment in the macabre killing of TV executive Neeraj Grover in May 2008, said her conviction is a "stigma" on her life while her lawyer Sharif Sheikh, who was present alongside, told a chaotic press conference she would challenge it in the superior court.
The starlet was found guilty under IPC Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and awarded the maximum punishment of three-year jail term on Friday along with boyfriend Emlie Jerome, a former navy officer.
Jerome (28) was held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in the macabre killing of Grover (25) and awarded 10 years imprisonment of which he has already served three years.
Image: Kannada actress Maria Susairaj addressing a press conference at the Mumbai Press Club after being released from the Byculla jail in Mumbai on Saturday, July 2, 2011. (Photographs copyright PTI)