Hours after former Maharashtra ATS chief Himanshu Roy committed suicide, a sessions court in Mumbai on Friday awarded life imprisonment to two people in the 2012 murder case of actor Meenakshi Thapa. The case was supervised by Roy as the then joint commissioner of police (crime) in Mumbai.

The court awarded the life sentence to Amit Jaiswal (36) and his girlfriend Preeti Surin (26).

The accused hailing from Uttar Pradesh had befriended Thapa (26) on the sets of “Heroine”, a Bollywood film directed by Madhur Bhandarkar.

Jaiswal and Surin used to work as model coordinators. Under the impression that Thapa belonged to a rich family, the duo hatched a conspiracy to abduct her and demand a Rs 15-lakh ransom from her family.

They persuaded the actor, who had moved to Mumbai from Dehradun, to accompany them to Uttar Pradesh on 12 March 2012, stating that there was an acting assignment for her.

Subsequently, they abducted Thapa, but after realising that her family was in no position to pay up, they strangulated her, according to the prosecution.

“Roy was the joint commissioner of police (crime) when Thapa was murdered. As it was a sensitive case, he played a key role in getting it transferred to the Crime Branch and was instrumental in solving it,” a crime branch official said.

On Friday, Roy committed suicide by shooting himself with a licenced revolver at his south Mumbai residence in Nariman Point at 12.40 pm and was rushed to Bombay Hospital where he was declared dead at 1.40 pm, an official said.

While citing his suicide note, the Mumbai police said the 1988-batch Indian Police Service officer took the extreme step “out of frustration” due to his prolonged battle with cancer.

“Roy was on medical leave for the last two years as he had cancer and the suicide note, in his own handwriting, makes it clear that he ended his life out of frustration due to this illness,” a police statement said.

Roy, who was honoured with President’s Medal for distinguished and meritorious services in 2012, had handled several high profile cases including IPL spot-fixing scandal, the firing on Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar’s driver Arif Bael, Journalist J Dey murder case, the double murder case of Vijay Palande, Laila Khan and the murder of law graduate Pallavi Purkhayasta.

Roy, who is survived by his mother and wife, would have been 55 next month.