Court issues notice to Harnaaz over breach of movie contract

The Chandigarh District Court has issued notice to Miss Universe Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu and others, over a civil suit filed by Santosh Entertainment Studio through its producer partner, Upasana Singh, accusing Sandhu of not honouring an agreement signed for the promotion of a Punjabi movie.

The notice has been issued by the Court of Randeep Kumar, Civil Judge (Junior Division). The matter is now scheduled for hearing on September 7, 2022. Singh, through counsel Karan Sachdeva, has claimed damages of Rs 1 crore from Sandhu. As per the complaint filed before the court, on December 13, 2020, the firm (Santosh Entertainment Studio) and Sandhu entered into an ‘artist agreement’ whereby Sandhu was set to play the lead actor for the Punjabi feature film – ‘Bai Ji Kuttange’ – directed by Smeep Kang.

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As per the complaint, in 2021, Sandhu won two beauty pageants Miss Diva, 2021 and Miss Universe, 2021. As she gained fame with these laurels, the stakeholders of the movie decided to release the film on May 27, 2022. These dates was communicated to her and her availability was sought for various engagements related to the movie.

The civil suit was filed under Section 10 of Specific Relief Act, 2018, read with Section 73 of Indian Contract Act, 1872, for claiming damages from the defendant for non-performance of her obligations in terms of the agreement between them.
“Harnaaz was intimated about the release date of the film and was asked to inform her working dates to plan a schedule for the release and promotion of the movie, but shockingly, she started evading everyone, including the director, financiers and producers. She could not be reached over phone, text messages, WhatsApp, etc., for the reasons best known to her,” the complaint alleged.

As per clause 2(a) of the ‘artist agreement’, the terms of the agreement came into force from the date of execution of the agreement which was December 13, 2020, and continued until one month after the first theatrical release of the film which was June 27, 2022, according to the complaint.

The complaint further alleged that on March 24, 2022, Singh intimated Sandhu about the movie promotion dates through WhatsApp and specifically told her that they understand about her other commitments in hand and would not proceed against her legally as per the agreement signed by her on promotional dates. But, surprisingly, Sandhu shirked from all her obligations in relation to promoting the movie.

The director and the film financiers tried to contact Sandhu over Instagram and shared the poster with her for the film’s promotion, but she did not reply even once to their messages, it was alleged. Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe on December 13, 2021.

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