Hyderabad, Dec 28 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh High Court Wednesday reduced the jail sentence of G. Siddhartha Reddy, a convict in the death of Telugu actress Pratyusha in 2002, to two years from five years earlier awarded.
The trial court in 2004 sentenced Reddy to five years' imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs.5,000 on charges of abetment in her suicide and one more year of imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,000 for attempting suicide.
Pratyusha died under mysterious circumstances in Hyderabad Feb 24, 2002.
On Reddy's plea challenging the order of the trial court, Justice N. Ravi Shankar reduced his jail term to two years but increased the fine to Rs.50,000.
The high court directed Reddy, who is out on bail, to surrender before police by Jan 15.
Reacting to the judgment, Pratyusha's mother P. Sarojini Devi told reporters that she would challenge it in the Supreme Court. Her family alleged that Reddy murdered her.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which probed the case, dropped murder charges against Reddy but concluded that he drove Pratyusha to suicide.
According to the investigating agency, Reddy and his classmate Pratyusha were in love and decided to get married. However, Reddy's family opposed their proposed marriage.
Reddy met Pratyusha at a beauty parlour Feb 23, 2002, and took her away in his car. He bought pesticide from a shop and both of them consumed it after mixing it in cola.
Later, Reddy took Pratyusha to hospital where both of them were admitted. Pratyusha died the following day.