Santosh Entertainment Studio through its producer partner, Upasana Singh, on Thursday filed a civil suit against Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu before the Chandigarh district court accusing her of not honouring an agreement signed for the promotion of a Punjabi movie. The matter is expected to come up for hearing on Friday.
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.
The complainant firm, through counsel Karan Sachdeva, has claimed damages of Rs 1 crore from Harnaaz.
As per the complaint filed before the court, on December 13, 2020, the firm (Santosh Entertainment Studio) and Harnaaz entered into an ‘artist agreement’ whereby Harnaaz had to provide her services as an actor for the Punjabi feature film – ‘Bai Ji Kuttange’ – directed by Smeep Kang.
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Harnaaz is playing the lead role in the film.
As per the complaint, in 2021 Harnaaz won two beauty pageants Miss Diva 2021 and Miss Universe 2021. As Harnaaz gained fame with these laurels, all the stakeholders of the movie decided to release the film on May 27, 2022. This date was communicated to Harnaaz and her availability was sought for various engagements related to the movie.
Harnaaz was crowned Miss Universe on December 13, 2021.
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.
“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.
The complaint further alleged that on March 24, 2022, the producer partner (Upasana Singh) intimated Harnaaz 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, Harnaaz shirked from all her obligations in relation to promoting the movie.
The director and the film financiers tried to contact Harnaaz over Instagram and shared the poster with her for the film’s promotion, but she did not reply even once to their messages.
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