Hansraj Saxena, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Sun Pictures which is owned by Kalanidhi Maran, media magnate and grand-nephew of DMK chief M Karunanidhi, has been arrested by Chennai city police in connection with an alleged fraud in purchasing the telecast rights of the Tamil film ‘Theeradha Vilayattu Pillai’.
Saxena was arrested based on a complaint by a Salem-based distributor T S Selvaraj, a statement said last night. T S Selvaraj, the complainant, had said that Saxena, whose Sun Pictures had produced the Tamil film, ‘Theerada Vilayattu Pillai’ starring Vishal, had sold him the film’s Salem distribution rights for a sum of Rs. 1.25 crore. However Saxena paid only the partial amount to Selvaraj. When Sevaraj demanded a sum of Rs. 82.53 lakh from Saxena, he allegedly delayed repaying the sum and on January 5, 2011 threatened Selvaraj when he asked for his money, the release said.
Furthermore, Saxena went ahead and telecast the film without paying the producers the total amount promised to them. Selvaraj later filed a complaint on July 1 with KK Nagar police in Chennai, following which Saxena was arrested.
Police sources said Saxena had just flown back to the city from Hyderabad when a police team picked him up at the airport. “We have arrested him based on a complaint about not paying the producers of Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai,” a senior city police official said. “An amount of 82.53 lakh was due to the producers.”
This is just one of the string of bad news for Sun TV of late. Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, whose AIADMK came back to power in May, had lost little time in announcing the nationalisation of cable distribution services in the State, in a move that could affect Sun’s fortunes. Though the listed Sun TV doesn’t own cable distribution services, another company floated by its promoters (Sumangali Cable Vision) takes care of it and is seen as a vital ingredient in its success.
Further, amid news that Kalanithi Maran’s younger brother and Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran is under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigations for a deal involving their family-run DTH business and Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan shaved over a quarter of Sun TV’s stock on a single day last month. The stock has since recovered much of its losses but the cloud of the case still hangs thick over the company.
To add more fuel to the fire, Hansraj Saxena’s arrest had a direct affect on Sun TV shares as it fell 4 per cent in early morning trade on Monday.