Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff won a 10-year-old legal battle on Tuesday, represented by Nagpur advocate of city based firm Dewani Associates, against his former business partner Ratnam Iyer in Bombay High Court.
Speaking about the judgement, advocate Shyam Dewani told Nation Next, “I’m glad justice has been finally served to Mr Jackie Shroff be it after almost a decade. Justice had to be delivered.”
The actor is now entitled to receive a total of $ 3.5 million (approx. Rs 25 crore) from his former partners including Iyer. Shroff along with other former partners was a shareholders in a private firm, which held shares in Multi Screen Media (MSM) Private Limited that was earlier known as Sony Entertainment Private Limited.
The court set aside an order passed by an arbitrator against Shroff that demanded the actor to give up $ 3.5 million, which he was supposed to receive after Iyer and he settled their disputes amicably. It was also decided that Shroff would withdraw case he had earlier filed against Iyer and other partners with the Economic Offences Wing (EoW) in Mumbai claiming his partners had forged his signatures to sell off shares of their firm in April 2011.
However, the partners settled the dispute after Iyer agreed to pay $1.5 million to Shroff as soon as he withdrew the case lodged with the EOW against them.
Shroff was entitled to receive the remaining $2 million from his partners after his shares in MSM were sold. As per the settlement, Iyer had to compulsorily inform Shroff about the sale of the share and in return, the actor wasn’t supposed to file any complaint against Iyer and party.
When Shroff’s wife Ayesha emailed Iyer saying she got to know about an agreement vis-à-vis the sale of MSM shares, Iyer replied by saying that the actual sale was yet to take place. He further wrote to Ayesha that whenever a deal would be cracked, ‘she might take the money and run.’ Ayesha further responded by writing, “No one wish to continue to fraternize with a forger.”
Iyer claimed that the email had caused a huge damage to his reputation as a result, the arbitrator was of the opinion that the e-mail was defamatory, even breached the settlement clauses and claimed Shroff wasn’t entitled to the $ 3.5 million amount.
Shroff challenged the arbitrator’s order before Justice Suresh Gupte. The judge said that his wife’s emails weren’t defamatory at all as the communication was held in private and in no way Iyer could seek damages worth $ 3.5 million.
The lawyers for Jackie Shroff were senior advocate Arif Bookwala, Shyam Dewani, Nivedita Kundaji and Chirag Chanani.