A magisterial court in Mumbai on Saturday issued an arrest warrant against Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt for not appearing before it to answer a complaint of criminal intimidation filed by producer Shakill Noorani.
“This case has been going on since a long time and the present situation has arisen because of the communication lapse between our lawyers and us. We respect the urgency shown by the honourable court regarding our attendance/representation and we would take immediate measure to rectify the situation,” Dutt’s spokesperson said in a statement.
The actor’s lawyer was unavailable for comment.
Noorani’s complaint dates back to 2013 when the producer alleged he had received threatening calls from underworld gangsters on behalf of Dutt to settle a dispute regarding a film which the actor allegedly did not complete.
Noorani’s lawyers Niraj Gupta and Nisha Arora claimed that the Andheri court where the case is filed, had issued several summons to the actor but he failed to appear.
“When the complaint was filed in 2013 he had ignored and even that time the warrant was issued. However, Dutt had obtained a bail that time. After this he had to undergo his imprisonment in connection with the 1993 bomb blast case. Hence, the case could not proceed,” Gupta said.
Gupta said that the case had not proceeded ever since then as presence of the accused is required before recording the evidence. “After filing the complaint, the court had issued summons to the other party and the court was to record statement of Noorani. However, in absence of Dutt the case cannot progress. Hence, time and again summons were issued,” Gupta added.
As the actor failed to answer the summons, the court has on Saturday
evening issued an arrest warrant against him.
According to the case filed by Noorani, Dutt had promised to do his film ‘Jaan ki Bazi.’ Noorani alleged that Dutt had also taken around Rs 40 lakh from him. He also alleged that since the complaint was for the return of funds, he started receiving threatening calls to withdraw the complaint. The calls were allegedly made by gangsters on behalf of Dutt.
The producer’s complaint is still at a preliminary stage.