Court puts ‘Neerja’ producer on notice
The family has alleged the moviemaker offered them a “pittance”, which they refused to accept. The family was to put the money in a trust in Neerja’s name and help others, they said.bollywood Updated: Jul 08, 2017 12:06 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday put the producer of national award-winning movie ‘Neerja’ on notice on a plea alleging criminal conspiracy by the braveheart flight purser Neerja Bhanot’s family.
In the plea taken up by the bench of chief justice SJ Vazifdar, the family has demanded appointment of an arbitrator to resolve the dispute.
Advocate Birinder Singh Khehar, who appeared on behalf of the family, had told the court that the producer committed a “criminal conspiracy” by paying only Rs 7.5 lakh, whereas the family was promised 10% of the movie’s profits. The movie as per the petitioners grossed over Rs 135 crore.
Neerja was killed on September 5, 1986, two days before she was to turn 23. The senior flight purser of Pan-Am 73 flight, was shot by terrorists on board while she was saving passengers during the hijack at Karachi.
The petition has been filed by her brothers, Aneesh Bhannot and Akhil Mitra Bhanot, who were signatory of the agreement with the producer. Her mother, Rama Bhanot, the third signatory, is deceased now.
The family has alleged the moviemaker offered them a “pittance”, which they refused to accept. The family was to put the money in a trust in Neerja’s name and help others, they said.
The movie was produced by Bling Entertainment Solutions Ltd, and Fox Star Studios India Pvt Ltd was the co-producer, as per the family. The film directed by Ram Madhvani won national award for best Hindi film category at the 64th award function in April, 2017.
The high court has sought response by August 11.
Neerja was born in Chandigarh in 1963 and lived in Mumbai at the time of hijacking. She was awarded with India’s highest peacetime gallantry award for bravery, Ashoka Chakra, in 1987.