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Prernaa Arora to apply for bail; accuses Vashu Bhagnani of  threatening her family in statement

The KriArj Entertainment co-founder’s legal trouble was compounded further when she was arrested late on Friday (7 December) by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) over an alleged breach of contract.

Our Correspondent

KriArj Entertainment co-founder Prernaa Arora’s legal trouble was compounded further when she was arrested late on Friday (7 December) by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) over an alleged breach of contract.  

The EOW acted upon the complaint filed by veteran film producer Vashu Bhagnani who had claimed distribution rights to two films —  Fanney Khan (2018) and Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018) — which Arora was to initially supposed to produce.

It may be recalled that Bhagnani’s claims were dismissed by the Bombay high court and also the Supreme Court of India earlier.  
Arora, who will move court to get bail today, issued a statement wherein she accused Bhagnani of making false claims and reminded how the veteran film producer's earlier cases were dismissed by various courts and also accused Bhagani of threatening her family.

"Mr Bhagnani repeatedly lost and in many cases been reprimanded by high courts of at least two different states of the country. Mr Bhagnani and his company have attracted orders which are available in the public domain from the court stating that they have attempted fraud and their pleas have been rejected time and again."

"On the contrary, the courts have also taken note of the fact that there has been forceful coercion and threats to Ms Arora and her family by Vashu to fulfill his demands."

"In this coercion a serious attempt has been made by him to get Arora to wrongfully malign her and business associates, an attempt she has strongly averted and not given in to. The threats to the family have extended to taking away their place of residence and the likes, proof of this communication has been presented to the courts [sic],” Arora said in a statement.

Bhagani has been claiming Rs32 crore from KriArj Entertainment. Arora, meanwhile, alleged that Bhagnani has breached the contract as he hasn’t cleared his dues from Pari (2018), co-produced by KriArj Entertainment and distributed by Bhagnani's Pooja Entertainment.

"Mr Bhagnani’s company which was given rights to distribute ‘Pari’ has till date (nine months after the release of the film) not provided any business statements for the film’s revenues and holding a significant amount of KriArj’s share in the revenue of the film. As can be understood, distribution is the primary source of revenues for any film and KriArj has been denied the rights and revenues of their own film. As expected that there have been consistent requests and reminders to that effect which have fallen on deaf ears. This modus operandi of Mr Bhagnani has affected other areas of KriArj’s films also,” added Arora.

The KriArj Entertainment founder also alleged that with regards to the film Parmanu (2018), Bhagnani has allegedly breached his contract there too and that John Abraham Entertainment and Zee Studio are likely to initiate legal action against him.

“There was a settlement that was agreed to for the film Parmanu in the Honourable High Court of Mumbai many months ago which has been blatantly violated by him. The statement of fair share of revenues to be paid has once again not been provided and the money retained by him. From what is understood both John Abraham and Zee have either initiated or are in the process of initiating legal action against Mr Bhagnani [sic],” said Arora.

Arora and John Abraham were involved in a legal dispute over rights of the film Parmanu (2018), with the court ruling in favour of John Abraham Entertainment. While KriArj Entertainment lost out on the film, the court has admitted the rights of Bhagnani to distribute the film.

Arora has also accused Bhagnani of not clearing dues from their film Padman (2018). Bhagnani had entered into a multi-film deal distribution deal with KriArj Entertainment.

Efforts to contact officials from JA Entertainment and Zee Studios yielded no response.

NDTV.com had quoted an official claiming that Arora had taken money from Bhagnani for exclusive rights of a film, but the KriArj Entertainment founder had allegedly breached the contract by signing similar deals with other investors.  

In August, Anil Gupta of Padma Films had filed a First Information Report against KriArj Entertainment for allegedly cheating him of Rs16 crore.

Meanwhile, in a sensational report filed by Bombay Times, a source was quoted saying that the investigations by the EOW has found Arora to be allegedly holding multiple PAN cards and passports.

Arora has had a tough year as KriArj Entertainment has been involved in many financial disputes and lost out ownership of quite a few films.

First, it was Kedaranth [which was eventually released on 7 December], from which KriArj Entertainment eventually opted out. Later, Ronnie Screwvala took over the production reigns.

Arora was locked in legal battles over the films Fanney Khan and Batti Gul Meter Chalu. For Fanney Khan, Arora worked out a solution with T-Series and got a 'presented by' credit for her father Virrendra Arora. She could not get any claim over Batti Gul Meter Chalu.