Rs 700 million riding on Sanjay Dutt

MUMBAI: An estimated Rs 700 million (Rs 70 crores) is riding on the films that Sanjay Dutt is involved in and their fate depends on the court’s final verdict, according to Bollywood trade analyst Komal Nahta.


The TADA court in Mumbai today (28 November) held Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt guilty under the Arms Act for possession of illegal weapons but acquitted him of terrorism and conspiracy charges in the 1993 serial bomb blasts.


Dutt is likely to be imprisoned for a minimum period of three years. However, the 18 months that he has already served in jail, will be deducted from the sentence he is likely to be given.


However Dutt will not be put in police custody immediately. Hearing a petition, moved by Dutt’s lawyers immediately after the verdict, the court has granted him an interim relief and ruled that he has to surrender to the police by 19 December, 2006.


If after Dutt’s surrender, his bail plea is not granted, many of his movies that are currently under various stages of production will have to take back seat.


The Rs 700 million that is currently riding on the actor includes his films such as Dus Kahaniyan (approximately Rs 90 million) and Shootout at Lokhandwala (approximately Rs 130 million), which are produced by Dutt and Sanjay Gupta for their company White Feather Films. Another one of their projects, which is in the pipeline titled Alibaug (based on Gupta’s true life incident) is in the pre-production stage and shooting for the same hasn’t begun. Hence Alibaug can be let off from the Rs 700 million pot.


Further Dutt’s other films like Sarhad Paar (approximately Rs 100 million), Dhamaal (approximately Rs 90 million) and Mr Fraud (approximately Rs 150 million) are also under various stages of production at present. On the other hand Dutt still has to dub for Mahindra Dhariwal’s Nehle Pe Dehla (approximately Rs 100 million). These films are also likely to bear the brunt if Dutt is imprisoned.  


However, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s multi-starrer Eklavya, which also stars Dutt will not be affected as Dutt has completed shooting for the film.


Another film starring Dutt titied Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai Tumse, which has been in the making since 2001 is ready for release and has received the censor certificate.


All in all, out of these eight films, the fate of six (amounting to Rs 700 million) will be determined on 19 December and the other two – Eklavya and Mohabbat Ho Gayi Hai Tumse are in a position to release irrespective of the verdict.

Rohini Bhandari

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