Mumbai: A non-bailable arrest warrant was on Monday issued by a city court against Sanjay Dutt for failing to appear in a case of alleged threat to a film producer after which the actor gave himself up and secured bail. The warrant was issued by Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate's court as Dutt failed to appear twice before it in response to summonses in the case filed by producer Shakeel Noorani, who has alleged he received threat calls at the behest of the actor.
However, Dutt promptly appeared before the Magistrate in the afternoon along with his lawyer Rizwan Merchant and sought bail. The court granted him bail for Rs 10,000 and fixed the matter for hearing on May 3. Acting on Noorani's complaint, the Magistrate, on February 13, 2013, had asked Dutt to appear before it to answer allegation of criminal intimidation levelled against him by the producer.
The two are at loggersheads after Dutt abandoned Noorani's film 'Jaan Ki Baazi' half way through in 2002 and refused to shoot further. According to the complaint, Dutt also refused to return part payment of Rs 50 lakh. Noorani had earlier approached Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association, which had directed Dutt to pay Rs 2 crore to the producer for the loss incurred on shooting.
As the actor did not pay the money, Noorani approached the Bombay High Court and prayed for execution of the order passed by IMPPA. In 2010, the High Court had ordered attachment of two properties of the 53-year-old actor. Noorani alleged that soon after the HC order, he started getting threatening phone calls which were traced to Dubai and Karachi following which he filed a criminal case.
Dutt's lawyer Rizwan Merchant refuted allegations that the calls had been made at his client's behest and claimed he had been falsely implicated. Merchant alleged calls were made in 2011 and Noorani may have "engineered" those after visiting Pakistan.
Fifty-three-year-old Dutt was in March ordered by the Supreme Court to go back to jail and serve three-and-a-half-years of remaining sentence in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. He was last week given four more weeks to surrender and undergo the sentence.