Pay Rs 32 crore or lose all properties, court tells Chopras
Family even stands to lose BR House, if rest of the properties fail to generate enough money to repay BR Films’ and BR TV’s 26 creditors
Vickey Lalwani and Sunil Baghel (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 19, 2012)
Ravi Chopra, the son of legendary filmmaker late B R Chopra, could lose all his properties, including family home B R House (right), if he fails to clear his debts of Rs 32 crore by April next year.
Chopra, who is now 66 and ailing, owes the money to 26 creditors of B R Films, a film production house his father set up in 1955, and B R TV, a family-run television production company. The Bombay High Court in a recent order has listed seven family properties to be sold to pay off the debt if the family misses the deadline.
The order, however, has made it clear that iconic B R House must be put on the block only if the sale of all other properties fails to generate the required funds.
Among the properties listed in the order apart from B R House are two bungalows in Khar, a set of apartments on Juhu Tara Road; an apartment in Worli; and a plot of land in Raigad district.
While B R Films is one of the oldest and most successful Bollywood production houses, B R TV gave the fledgling Indian TV industry one of its biggest soaps – Mahabharata – in 1988. B R Films has to its credits such hits as Naya Daur (1957), Sadhna (1958) and Humraz (1967). B R Chopra was awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1998.
B R Film’s last hit was Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Baghban in 2003. Its next production, Baabul, which again starred Amitabh, was a big flop. This was followed by another Amitabh-starrer, Bhoothnath, that was an average success.
The production house never recovered from these back-to-back flops. As debts mounted, cheques issued by B R Films began bouncing and court cases piled up.
According to the decree entered into by B R Films, B R TV and their creditors at the HC, the production houses now can’t sell or create any rights in any of seven properties listed above without the court’s consent.
In case the family fails to pay their creditors before April 15, 2013, a court receiver will take control of the properties and execute their sale.
According to the decree, status quo will be maintained in all the cases the creditors have filed against the Chopras during the six months granted to the family to pay off the debt.
When Mumbai Mirror contacted Ravi Chopra’s wife Renu for a comment on Thursday evening, she refused to comment on the court decree.
Film financier Devidas Thawani, one of the 26 creditors the Chopras owe money to, confirmed the court decree and said, “We shall definitely execute the court order if we do not get our payments.”
Another creditor, Raj Rajpal, said, “The total amount is a little over Rs 32 crore. We respect the court order.”
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