Actor Sunny Deol will have to pay Rs 12 lakh to film producer Sunil Darshan for an arbitration proceeding between them, as the Bombay high court on Thursday rejected Deol’s plea challenging the arbitral award.
Both the actor and the producer had approached the high court challenging an arbitral award passed by a former Chief Justice of India on June 6, 2011. The arbitrator had rejected Darshan’s claim seeking Rs 20 crore towards damages and compensation from Deol, but had directed the latter to pay Rs12 lakh to the producer.
Justice RD Dhanuka also rejected Darshan’s claim of Rs 20 crore from Deol, contending that the actor had committed breach of an agreement which caused loss.
The dispute between the two was related to the production of a film and it was referred for arbitration. On March 13, 2007, Deol and Darshan settled the dispute amicably and signed consent terms before the arbitrator and two days later the arbitrator made the award.
Under the consent terms, Deol had agreed to work as a lead star in a film to be produced by Darshan and was supposed to give 40 shooting dates. Accordingly, the producer sent a script to the actor, but Deol rejected it. The actor liked a subsequent script, but purportedly failed to extend necessary cooperation.
Darshan, therefore, claimed Rs 20 crore from the actor contending that he had raised loan of Rs 3 crore for the film and had to incur heavy losses because of failure on part of Deol to comply with the consent terms. Darshan had contended that though the arbitrator concluded that Deol had committed breaches of the agreement, the claim for damages was rejected.
Justice Dhanuka rejected Darshan’s claims, observing that though the producer showed that the actor had committed breaches, he failed to substantiate the claim of consequent losses suffered by him. “In my view if a party has not suffered any losses, even if the respondent has committed breaches, such party cannot be awarded any compensation,” the judge said, adding, “When loss in terms of money is prayed, the party claiming compensation has to prove such loss or damages suffered by him.”
As regards Deol’s challenge to awarding of the cost, the judge held that the arbitrator was justified in imposing the cost on the actor, as there was clear finding that he had committed breaches.