Actor Sivakarthikeyan has moved the Madras High Court against producer KE Gnanavelraja of Studio Green Films, alleging that the latter has not paid him a balance of Rs 4 crore for the 2019 Tamil film Mr Local starring the actor.
The case was heard by Justice M Sundar, who posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.
Written and directed by filmmaker M Rajesh, Mr Local featured actors Sivakarthikeyan, Nayanthara, Yogi Babu, and Sathish, among others. The romantic comedy backed by Gnanavelraja’s banner was released on May 17, 2019.
In his petition, Sivakarthikeyan alleges that he had made an agreement with the producer on July 6, 2018 for playing the lead role in Mr Local. As per this agreement, the actor was to be paid a compensation of Rs 15 crore total in several instalments, with the final Rs 1 crore to be paid before the release of the film.
Mr Local went on to open to negative reviews.
While the film was released in 2019, the actor claims that Gnanavelraja only paid him a sum of Rs 11 crore, leaving the balance unpaid despite several reminders.
The actor further alleges that the producer did not remit the mandatory TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) to the Income Tax department for that payment of Rs 11 crore, resulting in Sivakarthikeyan getting a notice from the IT department on February 1. Sivakarthikeyan also claims that Rs 91 lakh was deducted from his account between 2019-2021 as a result of this non-payment of TDS despite him filing another petition at the High Court challenging the notice from the IT department.
In his petition, Sivakarthikeyan has now requested the court to restrain Gnanavelraja from investing further in upcoming Studio Green films such as GV Prakash’s Rebel; Chiyaan 61, Pa Ranjith‘s film with Vikram; and Pathu Thala featuring Silambarasan and Gautham Karthik. He also asked the court to prevent the producer from transferring the rights of these films to other distributors for theatrical or OTT release.