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Dutt files appeal against attachment of properties

Mumbai: Actor Sanjay Dutt on Friday moved the Bombay High Court appealing against its earlier order directing attachment of two of his properties in connection with a financial dispute with producer Shakeel Noorani.

On December 29, Dutt`s Pali Hill residential flat was placed under attachment while a notice was pasted on his office premises at Mayfair building in suburban Santacruz.

Noorani has claimed Rs 2.03 crore back from the actor which includes Rs 50 lakh paid to Dutt as a signing amount for an under-production film `Jaan Ki Baazi`. He alleged Dutt did not give dates for shooting, so the film remained incomplete causing loss of Rs 1.53 crore.

Noorani had approached Indian Motion Pictures Producers` Association for arbitration.

IMPPA passed order in Noorani`s favour on January 28 last year and applied to High Court for execution of a decree following which the execution department of the high court directed attachment of the actor`s properties.

"The IMPPA award is wrong in law. The executive committee of IMPPA is hand in gloves with Noorani," the actor`s lawyer Rizwan Merchant said.

The appeal states that properties at Mayfair building cannot be attached as it is owned by his wife Manyata.

"Dutt attended two days of shooting of Noorani`s Jaan Ki Baazi movie in October 2001 and Noorani had not given him a single penny. Since no efforts were made by the producer to settle the actor`s dues, Dutt was compelled to cancel shooting," Merchant said adding Noorani had a personal enmity with Dutt.

According to the appeal, IMPPA had kept the matter for hearing on January 29, 2010. "If the hearing was kept for hearing on the 29th why was the award passed on January 28 in the absence of the party (Dutt)," Merchant said.

The appeal petition further states that since Dutt is not a member of IMPPA, he is not bound by its rules and regulations.

The appeal is likely to come up for hearing next week.

Dutt is also likely to file another petition in the High Court soon seeking that Noorani be booked under the stringent provisions of MCOCA for allegedly hiring an underworld goon to threaten and extort money from him.

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