CHENNAI: The Madras High Court dismissed a writ petition along with a penalty of Rs 1 lakh on film producer Aascar Ravichandran aka V Ravichandran for playing fraud in court by projecting a mail sent by the Indian Overseas Bank on February 25 as if it was sent on May 9, 2022.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice N Mala passed the orders on a petition preferred by Ravichandran, a suspended director of Aascar Films Pvt Ltd.
The petitioner sought a direction from the court to quash an e-auction notice of IOB dated June 24 for not returning dues for the loan of Rs 97 core that he got for producing two movies.
He further prayed for a direction to IOB to receive the balance amount of Rs 37.90 crore under the One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme as it was accepted by the bank through e-mail on May 9, 2022.
The bank informed the court that the mail was originally sent on February 25 and the request of the petitioner was cancelled on April 7.
Recording the submissions, the judges held that the conduct of the petitioner amounts to literally playing fraud on the court.
“Looking at the conduct of the petitioner in twisting the facts in order to mislead the court by referring to the letter dated May 9, 2022, sent to the company (Aascar Film Private Limited) by Madhan Kumar. It was forward of the letter of the AGM of the bank dated February 25, 2022, sent to Madhan Kumar with a rider to pay the amount of Rs 37.90 crore towards settling the account of the borrower company,” the judges noted while dismissing the petition filed by Ravichandran.
The court directed the producer to pay the cost to the IOB within fifteen days.
Though the petitioner informed that two of his films produced under the loan granted by the bank had flopped, the respondent bank noted that the petitioner earned Rs 135 core and used the money to settle his other dues instead of settling the loan to the bank. The bank pointed out that already it offered the OTS scheme twice to the petitioner for settling dues and he failed to honor the same.
Recording the submissions, the judges held that the action of the petitioner shows that it is to drag the payment of the dues to the bank.
The judges concluded that they did not find any ground to accept any of the prayers made in the petition to quash the e-auction notice since the petition has become infructuous with the expiry of the date of sale on July 13.
The HC rejected the prayer to accept the OTS for a sum of Rs 37.90 crore on the ground the petitioner failed to challenge the cancellation letter of OTS by April 7 and the subsequent letter dated May 19 of the bank rejecting the request of the petitioner.