Motichoor Chaknachoor distribution row: Rajesh Bhatia blames Debamitra Biswal, director accuses producer of mental harassment

The fate of the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer still hangs in the balance. Film exhibitor  Manoj Desai says that the film will only be screened if it clears all legal hurdles

By Mayur Lookhar

Motichoor Chaknachoor (2019)

At the moment, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Motichoor Chaknachoor [2019] is looking a bit like its crumbled title. From outstanding dues, unhappy editor to alleged interference by Suniel Shetty, Motichoor Chaknachoor is bogged down by a host of woes. The biggest roadblock though is the stay order on the release of the film.  On Monday, we had broken the story of a Civil Court in Saran [Chapra], Bihar issuing a stay order on the film’s release over a distribution row involving the producers, director, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and local distributor Gauri Shankar Agarwal.

We reached out to producer Rajesh Bhatia but to no avail. His wife Kiran was busy attending a meeting.  As per a report on Indiatvnews.com, the director Debamitra Biswal had allegedly entered into a agreement with the local distributor Gauri Shankar Agarwal for distributing the film in the region.  Biswal allegedly took Rs32 lakhs from Agarwal but didn’t honour her agreement.

Woodpecker Movies, owned by Rajesh and his wife Kiran, have pinned the blame on the director for this mess.

“The matter is of clear fraud and collusion and we are now investigating and approaching the honourable court for relief of same,” Ramesh Jain, legal counsel for Woodpecker Movies told Indiatvnews.com.

Kunal Tiwari, the legal counsel for Debamitra Biswal though has lashed out at Rajesh Bhatia for pinning the blame on her client.

“Debamitra has nothing to do with the stay of the movie and the statement made public by Mr. Bhatia  is to malign the reputation of the director. We are in the process of taking legal steps against the defamatory allegation on Debamitra Biswal,” Tiwari said in his statement to BeyondBollywood.com.

Tiwari also alleged that Rajesh Bhatia is guilty of mentally harassing her client.

“Since the beginning, Mr Bhatia harassed Debamitra mentally and abused her in presence of other co-worker and staff and they confirmed the same. Now since the movie is stayed for some reason, Mr. Bhatia is dragging her name to destroy her carrier,”

On 9 October, 2019 the Bombay High Court put a stay over the release of the trailer of movie which was vacated after the producers agreed to give credit to Debamitra and clear her dues.  

Mitra isn’t the only one who had financial disputes with the producers. Buzz has it that lead actors, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Athiya Shetty are among those who weren’t paid their full dues.

Meanwhile, sources say that the producer, distributor Viacom18 and Woodpecker Movies are moving court to seek relief against the stay order imposed by the Saran Civil court.

Viacom18 has more or less locked its screens but film exhibitor Manoj Desai had a word of caution.

“As of now we have agreed to take the film but on the condition that it first clears all the legal hurdles, “Manoj Desai, executive director of G7 Cinemas and Maratha Mandir told BeyondBollywood.com.

Motichoor Chaknochoor is slated to release on 15 November.  The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Athiya Shetty in leading roles.

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