In what may seem like partial relief to jailed star Sanjay Dutt, the Bombay High Court (HC) has revoked the attachment of a Bandra flat of the actor.
The flat had previously been attached, on the ruling of the Indian Motion Pictures Association (IMPPA), in connection with Dutt’s legal dispute with filmmaker Shakeel Noorani.
In 2008, filmmaker Noorani had alleged Dutt caused loss to his incomplete film, Jaan Ki Baazi, for which he had paid the actor Rs 50 lakh. The IMPPA ruled on 28 January, 2010 that Dutt should allot a period of 30 days to complete the film, or else refund the amount paid to him.
In addition, the body moved that Dutt should pay Noorani a compensation of Rs 1.53 crore. The ruling also added that if he did not pay up, this particular Bandra property would be attached.
When Sanjay Dutt failed to comply with the order, Shakeel Noorani moved the High Court, and in December 2010, Dutt‘s properties were attached due to non-payment of dues.
However, on 7 April, 2014, the HC heard Sanjay Dutt‘s plea against attaching his properties. Justice B P Colabawalla ruled that the “decision of IMPPA was not an “award” under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and thus it can not be enforced.”
The court went so far as to term Noorani‘s execution application as “an abuse of the process of the court”, revoked the attachment of flats, and ordered the producer to pay cost of Rs 1.50 lakh to Dutt.
The HC ruled that the IMPPA was only a private body, and that the “entire proceedings for the enforcement” of its award were meaningless.
This will surely be music to Sanjay Dutt‘s ears, who is currently serving jail term on his 42 month sentence, for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.