Even before its release, Parmanu — The Story of Pokhran has been embroiled in controversies. The film’s producers JA Entertainment (John Abraham) and KriArj Entertainment (Prernaa Arora) are now caught in a legal battle.
The developments took place after John decided to single-handedly release the film and terminate the agreement with KriArj.
Prernaa, in a statement, said, “In response to the trade notice issued by JA Entertainment claiming termination of their agreement with us for the film Parmanu, please note that the said termination is illegal and invalid. Our rights in the film as a joint producer/presenter and owner of all rights are fully secured.
We have always fulfilled all our commitments till date and have clear intent to continue doing so. JA Entertainment has also always been aware that Zee Studios are KriArj’s partners in the film from very early stages as co-producers and also the acquirers of the overseas theatrical, digital, satellite and music rights of the film.”
The statement further read, “JA Entertainment has till date not fulfilled its commitment of completing and intimating us of the film’s completion and is fraudulently trying to delay its release thereby causing huge monetary losses and damage to our reputation. We were to kick start the promotion campaign for which also there have been substantial expenses already done”
She said that after making substantial payments to JA Entertainment, they kept making unreasonable demands for money which are completely outside the scope of their initial understanding with KriArj Entertainment.
“This has made it abundantly clear that they are trying to defraud us by now attempting to wriggle out of a legally binding contract with us, which is not only unlawful but also unethical. It goes without saying that any one dealing with the film or any of its rights through JA Entertainment will be doing so at their own risk and peril and will also have to face legal consequences,” the statement read.
Responding to the allegations, John, who also plays the lead in the film along with Diana Penty, in a statement said, “Termination of the agreement by us is valid and legal. KriArj has committed material breaches which left us with no choice but to terminate in the interest of the film. We have fulfilled our commitment at every stage of this project and intimated KriArj in writing from time to time. Our payments have either been delayed or we have received wrong UTR number. Cheque payments have been stopped time and again. Delay in payments / non-payments, have caused delays in the post production work after the film’s principal shoot was completed in time and on schedule last year.”
He said that despite repeated follow ups, the distribution plan for the film has not been shared and there has been no transparency in KriArj’s dealings with third parties. “We have till date not been privy to any signed contracts of third parties with KriArj, if any. JA Entertainment has time and again sat on the marketing campaign and the dates have been pushed at least three times, thanks to delayed payments. Not only that, KriArj, without our approval, has gone out and made statements giving false reasons for the delay. Our repeated follow-ups have only been met with false promises to settle the issue, thus wasting crucial time on the project. The industry knows of the track record of KriArj. Given the above, and in the best interest of the film, we have terminated our contract with KriArj Entertainment Pvt Ltd. and will soon announce the release schedule.”
The statement also read that any future attempts by KriArj to defame their production house or the film, will compel JA Entertainment to initiate legal proceedings against them.