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Fraud | CBI books Bollywood producer Bunty Walia in loan fraud case

Updated on Monday, May 29, 2023 03:44 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged an FIR against Bollywood producer Bunty Walia and others in connection with a loan fraud case, an official said on Sunday.

It has been alleged by the IDBI Bank that the loan was taken for Sanjay Dutt starrer film 'Lamhaa'.

The FIR has been filed after the CBI received a complaint from IDBI bank. Bunty Walia, along with one Stany Saldanha, have been named as accused in the FIR.

The CBI said that the FIR was filed in connection with the misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust by G.S. Entertainment Pvt. Ltd (GSEPI), and its director and promoter.

GSEPI was sanctioned assistance of Foreign Currency Loan (FCL) of $2.35 million (then equivalent to Rs 1,000 lakh) and Rupee Term Loan (RTL) of Rs 495 lakh in June 2008 under Film Financing Scheme for production of Hindi film "Lamhaa" directed by Rahul Dholakia with lead actors Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu and Kunal Kapoor as the star cast.

As per the original schedule, the film was to be released in May 2009. The release of the film got delayed due to dispute between promoters and exhibitors from March 2009.

Consequently, the account turned NPA on September 30, 2009.

Since GSEPL failed to release "Lamhaa", IDBI Bank took the initiative by releasing the film by appointing PVR Pictures Pvt. Ltd. (PVR), as sole distributor for the release of the film worldwide, subject to the execution of a suitable tripartite agreement between GSEPL, PVR and IDBI Bank, as also a commitment from PVR investing an amount of Rs 800 lakh for meeting necessary expenditure on print and publicity and completion of the balance post-production work.

"Subsequently, a tripartite agreement was executed between the bank, GSEPL and PVR on June 2, 2010. However, PVR failed to honour its commitment as it had supposedly incurred losses of Rs. 83.89 lakh (total revenue collected by them was Rs 741.91 lakh as against expenses incurred by them on promotion/distribution amounting to Rs 825.80 lakh)," read the FIR.

The cost of the project was wrongly overestimated with the intention of getting more finance from the bank.

"It was concluded that as per audited results of 2011, GSEPL received Rs 752 lakh as per clause 3.1 of the 'Film Distribution Agreement' in another account maintained with a different bank and Rs 52 lakh out of collection at the box office. The aforesaid findings, prima facie, reveal that GSEPL committed fraud, cheating, manipulation of records; misappropriation of public funds, misrepresentation and criminal breach of trust. In view of the above findings, the account of the GSEPL was declared as fraudulent by IDBI Bank on March 31, 2021, and reported to RBI on April 20, 2021," read the FIR.

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