By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
In July this year, filmmaker Suneel Darshan went to Johannesburg (South Africa) to shoot Shaka Laka Boom Boom. He hired the services of online producer, Ebrahim Kaskar, who later filed a case of non-payment of dues against Darshan and tried to prevent him from leaving the country.
Full payment made
When asked about the case filed by Kaskar, Darshan says, "My lawayer, Emran Dassu, will give you the details. Kaskar said I hadn't paid his dues and tried to stop me from leaving South Africa by filing a case against me.
But I furnished full and final payment receipts and vouchers from everybody from the travel company to the hotel, transport and equipment companies, so the case didn't hold. I made sure that each and every person was paid in full before we left South Africa."
Commenting on the cause of friction between him and Kaskar, Darshan says, "Kaskar was overcharging me for locations. His bill had run up to Rs 22 lakh, whereas the Caesar's Palace Hotel and the Film Commission were giving us shooting locations virtually for free. When we discovered he was overcharging us, we took strong objection."
According to rumours, Sunil's next schedule will be in Los Angeles. He won't be returning to South Africa as he has faced a lot of problems while shooting in Jo'berg. Darshan admits, "I will be shooting a short schedule in the US, but that has nothing to do with the problems that I faced in SA.
We finished 40 per cent of the schedule on time. There was only a problem of three days when Kangana replaced Sania. A certain man in Bollywood who is connected to Kaskar is spreading all these rumours. In time, I will reveal his name and why he's doing this."
It is also being said that Darshan has been banned from shooting in South Africa. "Who can ban me from South Africa?" Suneel roars. "I am the only producer to have shot five films there, with Shaka Laka being my sixth one."
'The matter is over'
In spite of going through all these problems, Suneel wants to end things on a peaceful note. "I don't want to malign Kaskar's reputation, especially as things have been sorted out. He's a family man and has since apologised for the grief he caused. For me, the matter ends here."
When contacted, Kaskar wanted to know who had told us about the issue. "Who is saying all these things? There was a difference of opinion but the matter has been resolved now. I haven't filed any case against him."