Rajkumar Santoshi’s come back plans have hit another roadblock and this one has dragged him to court. The filmmaker has been charged under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 after a cheque of Rs 17,50,000 bounced and an arrest warrant was issued against him on January 17. The Rajkot magistrate court has granted him bail for a surety of Rs 25,000 in the cheque bounce case on March 4. He was made to wait in court for the entire day and was warned against persistently failing to appear in court before this despite summons. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, KD Parmar, has warned him to ‘remain present in person or through his advocate henceforth, failing which, surety will be forfeited’. Santoshi will now have to appear in court for the first hearing on April 1.
In 2013, a complaint was filed by the real estate barons-turned producers, Dhanrajand Anil Jethani, who had last co-produced the 2013-film ‘Ankur Arora Murder Case’. The father-son duo claims that the filmmaker met them that year to discuss a film with a budget of approximately Rs 1.50 crore. The project didn’t materialise and over the next year, the Jethanis claim, Santoshi presented them with multiple cheques, one amounting to Rs 17,50,000. All of which bounced.
“I sent him several legal notices which he did not respond to and after a while even stopped answering my calls as well,” Anil Jethani told Mirror, adding that the case was transferred from Rajkot to Mumbai and back to Rajkot, which explains the delay. “A magistrate court in Mumbai issued a warrant against Santoshi in 2015. He was to appear in court but failed to do so. I was then asked to transfer the case back to Rajkot where the initial transactions had taken place.” All through 2016, Santoshi failed to turn up for hearings and appeared only after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him on January 17.
When contacted Rajkumar Santoshi called the Jethanis ‘publicity hungry liars’ and denied having taken even a rupee from them. “Anil Jethani comes to Mumbai to party, picking up young starlets for his films. He is sleazy and what he is claiming is untrue. My lawyers are replying to him with a legal notice and we are going to challenge him in court. He will be the one paying for this,” he ranted saying the Jethanis are trying to get publicity using his name. “The matter is subjudiced, so why is Jethani talking to the media? He has no credentials and agreements with me and only wants to tarnish my reputation. I have refused to attend his functions and parties in the past. Why would I ever associate with such people?”