Actor Sanjay Dutt, whose properties have been placed under attachment by the Bombay high court on a decree sought by film producer Shakeel Noorani to recover dues, on Wednesday hit back at the complainant saying he had hired a goon to threaten and extort money from him in 2008.
The response from Dutt came a day after attachment notices were pasted on his residential and official premises in keeping with a High Court order based on an arbitration award given by Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association.
Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant told reporters, "Noorani had in 2008 hired underworld to call Dutt to threaten him and extort money. Dutt had then lodged a complaint with the crime branch. The investigation was handed over to Anti-Extortion Cell which had recorded statements of Dutt and Noorani."
The Munnabhai star will soon move the High Court with two petitions -- one appealing against the order of attachment of his two properties and the second seeking a case to be registered against Noorani under the stringent provisions of MCOCA, Merchant said.
Merchant also questioned attachment of office of Dutt saying the premises belonged to his wife and not him.
"Noorani has indulged in an organised crime by asking an underworld gang to threaten and extort money from Dutt," Merchant alleged.
Reacting to the allegation, Noorani said he did not threaten Dutt and it was the other way round. "Dutt told me if I troubled him he will shoot me dead. Dutt still has links with the underworld. I will now file a police complaint".
Dutt's Pali Hill residential flat was placed under attachment yesterday while notice on his official premises at Santacruz was pasted on Wednesday.
Questioning the attachment notices, Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant said, "We shall soon challenge them in the high court".
Merchant further said that Noorani had misrepresented facts before the court. "The office premises in Mayfair Melody building at Santacruz is owned by Sanjay's wife Manyata. How can his wife's property be attached?" he asked.
The high court order was passed in keeping with an arbitration award passed by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA) in January this year.
Noorani has claimed Rs 2.03 crore from the actor which includes Rs 50 lakh paid to him as signing amount for an under-production film Jaan Ki Baazi. He alleged that Dutt had not given dates for shooting as a result of which the film was incomplete and he had to suffer losses of Rs 1.53 crore.
In case of financial disputes of this nature, there is an agreement between Cine Artists Association and IMPPA which provides for arbitration. The agreement empowers IMPPA to act as an arbitrator and pass an award.
The properties mentioned in the execution order of the High Court are his residence in Imperial Heights building at Pali Hill, Nargis Dutt Road, Bandra and his office, Sanjay Dutt Productions, Mayfair Melody at Tagore Road in Santacruz.