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Why Did Monica Bedi Go To Prison?

Monica Bedi is an Indian actress who gained widespread fame and notoriety in the 1990s. However, in 2002, she was arrested and imprisoned for her involvement in criminal activities. Her arrest and subsequent conviction shocked many as she was a popular actress at the time. In this article, we will take a look at Monica Bedi’s life, her rise to fame, her criminal activities, arrest, and time in prison.

Early Life and Acting Career

Monica Bedi was born in 1975 in Punjab, India. She began her acting career in the mid 1990s with some small roles in regional films and television shows. Her first major role was in the controversial film Jodi No.1 in 2001 opposite Sanjay Dutt. The film was a box office hit and catapulted Bedi to stardom. She followed it up with successful films like Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat, Ek Aur Ek Gyarah, and Jawani Diwani. By 2002, she had established herself as a leading actress in Bollywood.

Relationship with Abu Salem

In the late 1990s, Monica Bedi started a romantic relationship with underworld don Abu Salem. Salem was involved in criminal activities like extortion, murder, and money laundering. He was also a key conspirator of the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. Despite his criminal background, Bedi got involved with him.

In January 2002, Abu Salem and Monica Bedi were arrested at Lisbon Airport, Portugal for traveling on forged passports. This arrest eventually led to revelations about Bedi’s deeper involvement in Salem’s criminal activities.

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Arrest and Conviction

After being detained in Portugal for three years, Monica Bedi was extradited to India in November 2005. She was immediately arrested by Mumbai police for forging passports and was later charged with conspiracy and aiding Abu Salem’s criminal activities.

In 2007, a special TADA court convicted Bedi and Salem for forging passports and sentenced them to 5 years imprisonment. In that case, Bedi got a reduced sentence for agreeing to testify against Salem.

In 2015, a special CBI court convicted Bedi and Salem for their role in a fake passport case from 1993. They were sentenced to 2 years rigorous imprisonment.

In all, Monica Bedi ended up spending nearly 8 years in prison from 2002 to 2010 for her crimes before being released.

Monica Bedi’s Crimes and Punishments:

CrimeYear of ConvictionPrison Sentence
Forging passports20075 years
Conspiracy and aiding underworld activities20075 years (reduced for testifying against Salem)
Fake passport case20152 years

Time in Prison

Monica Bedi spent most of her prison time between 2002-2010 in the Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai. By her own admission, the time in prison changed her life. She had to undergo a lot of hardship and adjust to living in cramped cells with other inmates from all walks of life.

Bedi participated in the fashion show organized by prison authorities in 2009 along with other inmates. She also taught English to some of the inmates to pass time. She mentioned in interviews after her release that the prison stay had made her more grounded and spiritual.

Life after Prison

Monica Bedi was released from prison in 2010 after completing her sentences. She kept a low profile for a few years following her release. She appeared on some reality shows like Bigg Boss to revive her career.

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In 2015, she made her acting comeback with a cameo in a TV show called Sarbjit. She continues to appear occasionally on TV shows. However, she has not been able to resurrect her film career that ended abruptly with her arrest back in 2002.

Bedi got married to an NRI businessman in 2013 and currently lives a quiet family life away from the limelight. While she has left her controversial past behind, the prison stint continues to be an indelible part of Monica Bedi’s life story.

Why Monica Bedi Went to Prison: Key Takeaways

  • Monica Bedi was a popular Bollywood actress who got involved with underworld don Abu Salem in the 1990s
  • She was arrested along with Salem in Portugal in 2002 for traveling on forged passports
  • Bedi was extradited to India in 2005 and was convicted in forgery and conspiracy cases related to Salem’s crimes
  • She was sentenced to a total of around 8 years in prison from 2002 to 2010
  • She spent most of her prison time in Byculla Jail, Mumbai where she participated in fashion shows and taught English
  • The prison experience changed Bedi’s life and outlook tremendously
  • After release, she has not been able to resurrect her film career and maintains a low profile
  • Her relationship with Salem and subsequent incarceration remain the biggest controversies of Bedi’s life

When and why was Monica Bedi arrested?

Monica Bedi was arrested in January 2002 at Lisbon Airport, Portugal along with underworld don Abu Salem. They were detained for traveling on forged passports. This eventually led to Monica’s conviction in various cases related to forgery and conspiracy to aid Salem’s criminal activities.

How much time did Monica Bedi spend in prison and where?

Monica Bedi spent around 8 years in prison from 2002 to 2010. She spent most of her prison sentence in Byculla women’s prison in Mumbai, India.

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What were the charges and sentences against Monica Bedi?

The main charges against Monica Bedi were forgery of passport, conspiracy and abetting gangster Abu Salem. She was convicted in two cases – one in 2007 where she got 5 years jail for forged passports and another in 2015 where she got 2 years for a fake passport case.

How did prison change Monica Bedi?

Monica has said in interviews that the prison experience changed her life tremendously. She had to undergo a lot of hardship but also found spirituality. It made her more grounded as a person. The fashion shows and teaching English to inmates kept her busy.

What is Monica Bedi doing currently?

After being released from prison in 2010, Monica has maintained a low profile. She appeared in some reality shows and a brief TV cameo but hasn’t been able to resurrect her film career. She got married in 2013 to a businessman and is a homemaker, living quietly away from media glare.


Monica Bedi was one of the most popular and successful Bollywood actresses in the 1990s. However, her association with underworld don Abu Salem pulled her into a dark world of crime. Her subsequent arrest, conviction and years spent in prison remain the biggest controversy of Bedi’s life and career. The prison experience changed her tremendously as a person. After her release, she has been trying to live a quiet life away from the limelight and controversy. But her filmy career never reached the heights it was poised to reach before her abrupt downfall. Monica Bedi’s story is one of both fame and infamy.

Prison Inside Team

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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