The bitter battle in the Bombay High Court between John Abraham of JA Entertainment and Prerna Arora of KriArj Entertainment over the release of their film Parmanu is finally coming to an end. And things are not looking good for KriArj. Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla, who is known to hear cases till 3.30 am, has ordered Prerna and her partner Arjun Kapoor (and also her mother Pratima and other KriArj executives) to be present in his court at 2 pm this afternoon.
Legal sources say that sounds ominous. It has reportedly come to the court’s notice that KriArj allegedly committed contempt by misrepresenting the court to believe it was settling its differences with JA Entertainment according to the undertaking it gave in court. Instead, it is believed to have breached the undertaking under which it was bound to pay Rs. 5.65 crores it owed JA Entertainment and further deposit Rs. 10 crore for the film’s P&A in the court or an escrow account.
Now, not just JA Entertainment, but several other financiers and producers who have reportedly invested money in KriArj or Parmanu, are also said to have showed up in court and demanded their dues. Responding to them, Justice Kathawalla has supposedly asked the Joint Commissioner of Police, Economic Offences Wing, Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, to act against all the complaints filed against KriArj, Prerna and Arjun and submit his report soon.
[caption id="attachment_53686" align="aligncenter" width="640"] John Abraham, Prerna Arora, Arjun N Kapoor during the interview for film Parmanu The Story Of Pokhran on 22nd July 2017[/caption]
Trade sources in Bollywood are shocked by this development and say it spells the start of the end of the production house that gave such hits as Rustom, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and PadMan. All its films under production, includingFanne Khan, Batti Gul Meter Chalu and Kedarnath, are in limbo over financial issues with monies allegedly being owed to casts and crews in every production. Bollywood has never had an instance where the EOW was ordered by court to investigate claims of fraud against a producer
Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, directed by Abhishek Sharma and starring John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani, is based on the nuclear bomb tests conducted by the Indian Army at Pokhran on May 11, 1998. Justice Kathawalla has asked all parties interested in Parmanu to work out a mechanism for the speedy release of the film and submit it in court tomorrow. The Bollywood press, which is going to be stretched already covering the Mehendi of actress Sonam Kapoor tomorrow, is making elaborate plans to be present at the Bombay High Court to record what happens to KriArj Entertainment and Prerna Arora.