In a breather for actor Sanjay Dutt, the Bombay High Court has revoked the attachment of his flat in suburban Bandra.
The flat had been attached following the decision of Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) in his dispute with film-maker Shakeel Noorani.
Noorani had moved IMPPA in 2008 alleging his film ‘Jaan Ki Baazi’, for which he had paid Dutt Rs. 50 lakh in 2001, could not be completed because the actor did not give dates.
On January 28, 2010, IMPPA asked Dutt to either commit 30 days for the shooting or refund Rs. 50 lakh and pay an additional Rs. 1.53 crore by way of compensation to Noorani.
But Dutt failed to follow the order, so Noorani moved the High Court, seeking execution of the IMPPA order which provided for attachment of the actor’s flat if he did not pay.
In December 2010, Dutt’s flats were attached.
Hearing Dutt’s plea against the attachment, Justice B P Colabawalla had on April 7 this year ruled that the decision of IMPPA was not an “award” under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and thus it cannot be enforced.
The court termed Noornai’s execution application as “an abuse of the process of the court”, revoked the attachment, and ordered the producer to pay cost of Rs. 1.50 lakh to Dutt.
Since IMPPA was only a private body, the “entire proceedings for the enforcement” of its award were meaningless, the High Court said.
Dutt is currently serving a 42-month sentence in Pune’s Yerwada prison for illegal possession of firearms in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.