Warrant against Sanjay Dutt for non-appearance in court

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A local magisterial court issued an arrest warrant against Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt on Saturday for not appearing before it to answer a complaint of criminal intimidation filed by producer Shakeel Noorani.

"We had sought arrest warrant against Dutt for non-appearance. The court has allowed our application," said advocate Neeraj Gupta, Mr Noorani's lawyer.

The next hearing will be on August 29.

Mr Noorani has filed a private complaint with the court demanding registration of a case against Mr Dutt for criminal intimidation.

Mr Dutt had abandoned midway in 2002 a film, 'Jaan ki Baazi,' which he was producing, said Mr Noorani in his complaint, adding the actor did not even return the money already paid to him.

Mr Noorani approached Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association which directed Mr Dutt to pay back the money. Mr Noorani later moved the Bombay High Court, seeking execution of the IMPPA's order.

In the meantime, he started receiving threatening calls from some underworld figures who asked him to withdraw the case, the producer alleged.

An official statement from Mr Dutt's spokesperson said, "This case has been going on since a long time and the present situation has arisen because of the communication lapse between our lawyers and us. We respect the urgency shown by the Honourable court regarding our attendance."

"We would take immediate measures to rectify the situation," the statement added.

Earlier too, a warrant had been issued against Mr Dutt for non-appearance in this case, but he was granted bail.

Mr Dutt, who was convicted under the Arms Act in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was released from the jail last year.

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