Actress Monica Bedi companion of extradited gangster Abu Salem, was released from a Hyderabad jail Wednesday after she secured a bail from a court in connection with a case of passport forgery.
Bedi, who was granted bail on Tuesday by a special court, was released from Chenchalguda Jail, sources said.
Though the court ordered her release, Bedi could not be set free Tuesday as the bail order could not reach the authorities at women's jail in Chanchalguda on time.
The Supreme Court on Monday relaxed the bail conditions that she should surrender her passport to facilitate her release on bail.
Bedi was granted bail by the Supreme Court in May with respect to the passport forgery case in Andhra Pradesh.
The Bhopal court in Madhya Pradesh, where she faced a similar charge, had last week acquitted her.
Bedi had approached the Supreme Court pleading for relaxation of the bail condition as she had lost her passport in Portugal before being imprisoned there in the fake passport case.
Bedi's passport was issued in the name of Sana Malik Kamal while Salem got the passport issued in the name of Ramil Kamal Malik. The case came to light in February 2002 when the Intelligence Bureau got a tip-off that Salem and Bedi had used fake passports during a trip to Dubai.
The Regional Passport Officer had cancelled the passports in March 2002 and issued alerts to all airports in the country. However, they had fled the country by then.
After prolonged extradition proceedings, Salem, wanted in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, and Bedi were brought to India on November 11, 2005.
Syed Amin Jafri adds from Hyderabad:
"Finally, god has answered my prayers. I am very happy. I am thankful to god," Bedi said soon after her release.
Accosted by media persons, TV crew and photographers as soon as she came out of the main building in the heavy-security prison complex at Chanchalguda, she repeatedly pleaded with the media "please leave me alone." Her father Prem Kumar Bedi escorted her, even as police and prison officials cleared the way for her.
"I will spend some time with my family (in Punjab). Soon, I will be back in Hyderabad. I am getting lot of offers (to act) from Tollywood (the Telugu film industry) and Bollywood. They are all so keen to welcome me back to acting. I am very excited. I have been missing the screen for so long. I will be back soon," she said.
After relaxing at the VIP lounge at Begumpet airport for a few hours, she took an afternoon flight to Delhi. She was accompanied by her father and uncle.