Producer Prernaa Arora to allegedly face six-months imprisonment for contempt of court; to surrender before March 23, 2020?


Bollywood producer Prernaa Arora has been convicted by the Bombay High Court of contempt of court and has been reportedly sentenced to imprisonment for six months. Prernaa who is the owner of KriArj Entertainment and has financed films like PadMan, Rustom, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, was initially required to surrender to serve the prison term at the Azad Maidan police station before March 2, 2020, but she appealed against the order before a division bench of the Bombay High Court. Hence, the court postponed the date to March 23, 2020, now. As per reports, Prernaa has been issued a non-bailable warrant and the police have been instructed to issue the warrant if she fails to surrender in the given period. 

The order allegedly came on proceedings initiated by Gothic Entertainment against Prernaa, her company KriArj Entertainment and Protima Arora who is also a director of the production house for the execution of a settlement reached before an arbitral tribunal. Under the settlement, KriArj Entertainment had agreed to pay Rs. 25 crores to Gothic Entertainment but the former failed to do so. So much so, cheques for the installment bounced and Gothic Entertainment moved the High Court for legal assistance, if reports are to be believed. 

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Not just this, several orders were allegedly passed by different benches on Gothic Entertainment's application from February 2019. In one of the orders, KriArj Entertainment and the directors had to furnish the full list of assets, annual returns, profit and loss accounts and balance sheets. As Protima had been absconding, Prernaa was reportedly directed to make the disclosures about their movable and immovable assets. Gothic Entertainment had also stated that Prernaa allegedly hadn't cleared its dues, but made an agreement to pay money to another party that had also lodged a criminal case, which led to her arrest.

Justice GS Kulkarni, who issued the prison term to Prernaa, stated that an undertaking reportedly issued November 18, 2019, wherein she was asked to pay a sum of Rs. 3 crore to Gothic in installments towards a full and final settlement. However, as per reports, on February 5, 2020, Gothic Entertainment told the court that Prernaa had breached the undertaking too and when asked the reason for contempt of court, she failed to reply to the notice. "There can be no two opinions that respondent No.2 Prernaa Arora has no regard for either the process of law or for the orders passed by this Court. The approach of respondent No.2 is to consistently undermine the authority of the Court and the process of law. This is nothing but an abuse of process of law apart from being a gross contempt of the orders passed by this Court” Justice Kulkarni was quoted in a leading daily's report. 

(Source: Hindustan Times/Mumbai Mirror)