Kamal Amrohi’s Daughter Rukhsar Alleges, Preity Zinta Involved in Their 600 CR War With ‘Ulterior Motives’

Files an affadavit in court saying actor got involved due to ‘ulterior motives’

Once in the news for producing some of Hindi cinema's most path-breaking films, the late Kamal Amrohi's sprawling Kamalistan Studio in Andheri has now become the centre of a pitched battle between his children for control of the Rs 600 crore businesses and property.

Curiously involved in this whole drama is actor Preity Zinta, who Amrohi's eldest son Shandar describes as his 'adopted daughter' but who Amrohi's daughter Rukhsar alleges has been propped up to influence her brother.

The dispute, which had first come to light when Shandar filed a court case in the Bombay High Court alleging his sister had fraudulently taken over his shares in the parent company Mahal Pictures Pvt Limited, took another dramatic turn this week when Rukhsar responded with an affidavit dismissing his charges and blaming Preity Zinta for influencing him due to "ulterior motives".

"The suit filed by the plaintiff (Shandar) is completely false, an afterthought in an attempt to resile from a sale of shares to defendant No 4 (Waseem)," Rukhsar said. "After having executed a valid transfer in favour of Waseem, he (Shandar) is being instigated by certain third parties, including Preity Zinta, with ulterior motives and oblique purposes," she added.

Presenting before the court the "correct facts" of the case, Rukhsar recounted her version of the story. In the affidavit, she said that after her father's death the three siblings - Shandar, Tajdar and Rukhsar -- were directors of Mahal Pictures with onethird share each in the company.

Two years ago, in February 2008, the eldest brother Shandar agreed to sell his shares in the company for Rs 40 crore to Kingstar Realtors Pvt Ltd, a firm owned by Mahesh Luthria of the former Sea Rock group. By the time his other siblings learnt about this arrangement, Shandar had already received an initial payment of Rs 3.5 crore from Luthria.

When the Mahal Pictures board took up the matter a few weeks later, they rejected the proposed deal on the grounds that none of the directors had the right to sell their share of the company to an outside party without looking for buyers within the family first.

Later that year, Shandar Amrohi was removed as one of the directors of the company and a deadlock remained until 2010, when Mahesh Luthria finally approached Rukhsar's son Waseem in a bid to get his money back from Shandar. Luthria told Waseem that since he was a member of the family, Mahal Pictures would have no objection if he bought the shares directly from his uncle for Rs 40 crore. In return, Luthria would get the Rs 3.5 crore he had paid Shandar at the time of the agreement.

The affidavit states that the shares were duly transferred to Waseem and on February 18, 2010 for a payment of Rs 36.5 crore to Shandar and 3.5 crore to Mahesh Luthria, who was a legal witness to the transaction. When contacted, Luthria declined to comment saying the matter was subjudice.

On the following day, February 19, Rukhsar alleges that Shandar received a phone call from his brother Tajdar seeking confirmation that he had sold his shares to Waseem.

Mahal Pictures then called a board meeting on February 25, 2010 to announce the sale and to name Waseem as one of the company's directors. While Shandar was fine with the transaction until then, Rukhsar and Waseem allege matters started getting out of hand when Tajdar (who had now in effect been reduced to a minority in the company) did not vote in favour of the transfer of shares.

Rukhsar further alleges that third parties, including Preity Zinta, started instigating Shandar to reverse the process of the same due to "ulterior motives" and "oblique purposes". Shandar has long described Zinta as his adopted daughter, and spoken about a 'spiritual bond' between them.

Shandar now says that Rukhsar and Waseem stole the original share certificates from his house on the pretext of a social visit. Tajdar, meanwhile, has filed another suit challenging the meeting. The matter has been clubbed with the Shandar's petition and will be heard by Justice R Y Ganoo.

When contacted, Tajdar told Mumbai Mirror: "The Feb 25 meeting that they are talking about never took place. We will argue this in the court as well. I have not seen the new affidavit that they (Rukhsar) have filed, but if there allegations are true, why
did I not influence my brother to sell the shares to me? Also, I want to know why Rukhsar and Waseem have created a third party interest by pledging the shares to Sanchita Realty Pvt Firm (a Pune-based firm."

Advocate General Ravi Kadam, representing Tajdar in his individual capacity, declined to comment. However, Darshan Mehta of Dhruve Liladhar & Co, which is representing Shandar, said that they would respond to the affidavit on Thursday. While Shandar and Zinta were not available for comment, Rukhsar and Waseem said they stood by the affidavit filed in court.

All parties have engaged top lawyers such as Navroje Seervai (Shandar), Iqbal Chagla (Waseem and Mahal Pictures), Ravi Kadam (Tajdar), Aspi Chinoy (Kingstar and Mahesh Luthria) and Birendra Sarraf (Rukhsar).
Also Read: Shandar Amrohi Finds Support in Actor Preity Zinta, His ‘Adopted’ Daughter

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