Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘joint commissioner

Crime Branch teams leave for Delhi and Ghaziabad in search of Jitender Kumar, a major player; two top officials of Shemaroo and Reliance Big Cinemas arrested
By Abhijit Sathe (MUMBAI MIRROR; September 25, 2009)

Director and producer of What’s your Raashee? Ashutosh Gowariker

The Bollywood piracy plot is getting more sinister. After arresting employees of major post-production and distribution firms for spiriting out DVDs of new films, Mumbai Police is now on the hunt for a major player in the racket named Jitender Kumar, who is suspected to have links with the Dawood gang.

Crime Branch sources said teams have been despatched to Delhi and Ghaziabad to arrest Kumar, a ‘bigshot from Ghaziabad’ who apparently runs a major pirated material distribution racket in north India. Officials said he also has connections with the two piracy groups now in police custody. The latest arrests are those of Kalapi Nagda, 29, head of overseas distribution of Shemaroo Pictures and Neerav Shah, 30, manager of overseas distribution of Reliance Big Cinema, on the basis of information provided by UFO Moviez associate vice-president Rajesh Chaudhary, who was arrested on Tuesday.

“Afsar Hyder Hussain alias Ashraf, who was picked up on Tuesday, is the link between Kumar and the groups in Mumbai. Though Afsar deals with Kumar to sell and distribute pirated movies, last year, Kumar tipped off the police that Afsar was carrying pirated material and got him arrested at Mumbai airport,” said a senior police officer who did not wish to be named.

Sources said Kumar is involved in distribution of pirated movies in Delhi, Ahmedabad and Gwalior.

Gowariker wants Rs 50 cr in damages from UFO Moviez

Following the arrest of Chaudhary, a key player in the racket, What’s your Raashee? director-producer Ashutosh Gowariker has reportedly sought Rs 50 crore in damages from UFO Moviez. A legal notice has been sent to the firm for leaking DVDs of the yet-to-be-released film.

The police had on Tuesday arrested a group of five persons, who allegedly  bought DVDs from Chaudhary and sent them to one Asif in Pakistan.

Nagda and Shah – arrested on Wednesday – also allegedly bought original DVDs of new films from Chaudhary, who revealed their names during interrogation. “From them, we have seized original DVDs of the unreleased films Fast Forward and What’s Your Raashee? and the recently released Dil Bole Hadippa,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said.

According to Maria, Nagda has contacts in Pakistan and he sent original DVDs with Shah’s help to one Zubair. “For each DVD sold, Chaudhary got Rs 2 lakh, Nagda got Rs 35,000 and Shah got Rs 10,000,” Maria added. “We are checking if Asif and Zubair belong to the same group.”

Maria said Shah knew Chaudhary as he coordinated transport of original DVDs from UFO Moviez to overseas customers. Shah and Nagda were colleagues at Shemaroo Pictures before Shah shifted to Reliance Big Cinemas.

Meanwhile, UFO Moviez has dismissed Chaudhary from service. Top officials of the firm met senior Crime Branch officers and said they would cooperate with the investigation.

Video-meet decides DVD price

The suspects in police custody have revealed that the price of pirated DVDs is decided by video-conferencing between film suppliers and distributors. Tanzim Sayed alias Aman used to act as a mediator between suppliers like Afsar and distributors. “The DVD price and suppliers’ commission was decided according to number of copies of the movie made. Defaulters would be eliminated,” a police officer said.


Bharati Dubey & S Ahmed Ali I TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 24, 2009)

Mumbai: UTV software and communications, producers of the film What’s Your Raashee? has demanded a compensation of Rs 50 crore each from Adlabs Films Limited and UFO moviez for ‘abetting piracy and infringement of copyright’. Both the parties have been asked to pay up within 7 days.

The masterprint of Ashutosh Gowariker’s yet to be released What’s Your Raashee? was stolen from Adlabs on Monday evening. UTV
in its notice to Adlabs mentioned that in violation of the agreement, the masterprint of the film had been illegally copied on the Adlabs premises and sold to persons engaged in piracy, causing huge damage. The notice also alleged that the illegal activity was possible because of some highly-placed persons employed by Adlabs who gained access to the prints and made copies of it.

In its notice to UFO moviez, the producers alleged that UFO employee Rajesh Chowdhry arrested in the case has also confessed to piracy of the film Aage Se Right. “It is apparent that the entire illegal piracy racket has been able to continue unchecked on UFO premises and that their security system does not provide adequate protection,’’ the notice said. UFO has sacked Chowdhry but officials said that Aage Se Right was not released on the UFO platform.

UTV has also written to all producers and distributors’ bodies to send showcause notices to Adlabs and UFO moviez. Also, a film delegation including producer Mahesh Bhatt, senior vice-president of AMPTPP Vikas Mohan, Yash Chopra, Ratan Jain and Mukesh Bhatt will be meeting joint commissioner Rakesh Maria on Thursday.

Meanwhile, two more officials of two private companies, Neerav Shah (30), the manager of Reliance Big Pictures (overseas distributions) and Nagda Kalapi (29), the head
of the overseas distribution of Shemaroo pictures, were arrested in the case. Kalapi and Shah get a ‘benefit’ of Rs 35,000 to 50,000 per film, said senior inspector Ansar Peerzade. A video-piracy racket was busted on Sunday. Ashraf Hussain alias Afsar, Feroz Khan and Aman Tanzeem Sayyed were arrested in the case. Their interrogation helped the police arrest Durgadas Bhakta, manager, business development of Adlabs and Chowdhry.

An Adlabs spokesperson said, “The incident in connection with What’s Your Raashee is not attributable to us in any manner. The film prints are recorded under the best possible security measures.’’ A UFO spokesperson Charu Sacham said that the company has communicated separately with the producers’ fraternity and assured them that their business interests and intellectual property are of paramount importance.

Police believes there was a non-cognizable complaint of sexual harassment filed against the filmstar in 2006; have sought details
By Deeptiman Tiwary (MUMBAI MIRROR; June 17, 2009)
Mumbai police is now extending its probe against filmstar Shiney Ahuja to check for a similar such misdemeanour in the past.

Shiney was arrested on Sunday by Oshiwara police for allegedly raping his 18-year-old maid. “We have come to know that there is an earlier non-cognizable complaint of sexual harassment against the actor and I have asked for the record,” said joint commissioner (Law and Order) KL Prasad.

The actor’s behaviour when the police team went to his Tarapore Towers flat to question him on Sunday evening also roused suspicion, say cops. “We were shocked to see Ahuja sitting comfortably with his friends and enjoying a TV show. He was very calm and comfortable until he saw police and the maid’s relative at his door. He probably, never thought that the matter would go to the police,” said an officer privy to the investigations, on condition of anonymity.

“An ordinary man will be terrified right after the incident and will be ill at ease constantly thinking what if the victim goes and tells someone. He will try to do many things to make sure that the victim doesn’t squeal. But Ahuja seemed pretty comfortable watching TV with no fear whatsoever. However once he realised why the police had come to his house he started trembling,” the officer added.

Additional CP (Western Region) Amitabh Gupta said, “We are checking his record. Until now we have not found any complaint on record against him. But our investigation is on and we are interrogating various people.”

Ahuja’s wife called for questioning

Shiney’s wife Anupam

On Monday afternoon, Ahuja’s wife Anupam was called to the Oshiwara police station for questioning but had not turned up till the time of going to press, while his father Col (retd) SP Ahuja came to the police station to meet his son.

Police said that the allegation against Ahuja had been strengthened with the medical report of the girl which noted forceful sexual intercourse and also made a mention of injuries on her body apart from her private parts. Based on this, police said, they would seek Ahuja’s further custody on June 18 as he may influence witnesses whose statements are still being recorded.

Witness statements recorded

Police have till now recorded four statements, apart from the victim’s, in the case. DCP (Zone IX) Niket Kaushik said, “We have recorded the statement of the victim’s aunt (Rekha), who first met her after the incident. The other maid in the house (Sangeeta), Ahuja’s cook (Mohan), and the watchman of the building have also given their statements. All statements fit with the circumstances of the case.”

A police officer said the statement of Sangeeta, who stays in the house 24/7 but had gone to Church at the time of the incident, and of Mohan, who had left in the morning after cooking lunch, establish that both Ahuja and the maid were in the house all day. “The watchman has seen the maid coming and going, while Rekha has given us a statement on how she rang Ahuja’s door bell at 5 pm on Sunday and a visibly upset victim came out. She later narrated the entire incident to Rekha at their Virar residence,” said an officer.

Shiney’s lawyer Shrikant Shivade refused to comment on police investigation.