Jamai Raja actors say makers didn’t pay them, producers cry extortion
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee has filed a defamation and extortion case on behalf of the producer of Jamai Raja, against CINTAA and Sara Afreen Khan. Some of the actors had alleged they did not receive their wages.tv Updated: Jul 25, 2017 21:42 IST
At least seven TV actors have approached the Cine and TV Artists’ Association (CINTAA) and filed a complaint against the producers of the TV show, Jamai Raja, for delayed and/or non-payment of wages. Rizwan Siddiqui, lawyer for the producers, filed a criminal case of defamation and extortion against CINTAA Tuesday evening. The complaint also names Sara Afreen Khan, the first actor to speak to media about the non-payment issue.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, on behalf of the producers, told Hindustan Times, “CINTAA cannot arbitrarily act as a parallel court and pass directives against third parties or act as a recovery agent. I have proceeded with a complaint against CINTAA before the Registrar of Trade Union and am seeking its dissolution on the grounds that the activities of CINTAA are illegal.”
“The allegations made by Ms. Sara Afreen Khan against my client Ms. Meenakshi Sagar before the media are largely false and misleading. Ms. Sara Khan has received sufficient payments through RTGS. However, she has refused to return the amounts not legally due to her. Instead she chose to give false and misleading statements to the media to defame my client. Therefore, my client, to protect her legitimate rights and interests, has instructed me to file a criminal case of defamation against her and we have already proceeded in that regard,” he added.
Mouli Ganguly, who essayed the role of Payal in the serial, told Hindustan Times that she began shooting for the show in December and has only received part-payment for the month. She shot for the show till February. “This has been happening ever since we started shooting. Usually in our industry, actors get their payment after 90 days. But we get post-dated cheques. However, with Meenakshi (producer of Jamai Raja), even the cheques are delayed. And when it is time for the cheques to be encashed, we get a call from the production house asking us not to encash them for another fortnight or so,” Mouli said.
“Seven actors have come forward about the non-payment. When we did not get our money, we decided to meet Meenakshi and state our requirements. We did not want to stop shooting as we feared they could slap a case on us for loss due as the show was on-air. At the meeting, we were assured we will be paid soon but that did not happen,” she added.
Mouli further said that the actors later met CINTAA representatives and the association asked them not to work with the production house. While some actors, especially the ones who worked for a few days, received their payment, the rest are yet to get their due, she added.
“I know how the industry works and that is why I have all my interactions with the production on mail. It is not charity or loan that we are asking for, it is our own hard-earned money. How can she (Meenakshi) say this is extortion? She is even saying that we are doing this for publicity. It is a joke!”
Apart from Mouli, Sara Afreen , Sargun Mehta, Shiny Doshi and Neelu Kohli are the actors who have come forward and talked about the issue. Mouli told Hindustan Times that it is not just the actors but even the technicians, creative assistants and camerapersons whose payment are yet to be made by Meenakshi’s office.
When asked about Ashwini Yardi, co-producer of the show, Mouli said, “She is more of a silent producer. I have never interacted with her and all our payments were made through Meenakshi.”
When contacted, Neelu Kohli confirmed the non-payment of wages but refused to comment without a go ahead from CINTAA as they are taking care of the issue currently.