It all started when actor Sara Arfeen Khan did not get paid for her stint in the show ‘Jamai Raja’. The actor says that once the show ended, the producer also disappeared.
“I worked for 3 months in ‘Jamai Raja’ last year. I was part of the show in October, November and December and my first cheque was due in January. The show got shut down and since then we have had problems connecting to the office and Meenakshi,” says Sara.
When they got no response, the former cast decided to approach Cine and TV artists association (CINTAA).
“After 5 months of no one responding to our calls and messages, we actors formed a group and decided to go to CINTAA. CINTAA organised a meeting with Meenakshi, who promised us that the cheques would be cleared in a few weeks. She even mailed us the same. After that we waited for another two months, but nothing happened,” she says.
Sara adds, “Finally after dropping messages and warning her a couple of times about going to the media, her office staff released two postdated cheques for one month’s payment. But the first cheque bounced! I informed the office and got really mad at them and they promised me that they will issue another cheque and that the 2nd one will not bounce.”
However, the second cheque also bounced, which was when Sara decided to take legal action.
“After waiting for another 10 days, my office deposited the cheque which also bounced. Then I told my coordinator that this is a criminal offence and that I need to talk to my lawyer. After that I got a a message from Meenakshi promising me that she will do a RTG transfer within 5 days. After 5 days, I messaged her again and reminded her of her promise. She did an RTG transfer of only 50,000, which was nothing compared to the amount due. Several messages were sent to her and my coordinator and there was no response. Then I contacted my lawyer and he sent her the first notice,” she says.
Although some money was returned, Sara says that a lot is still balance.
“After the notice, she transferred the balance amount of one month’s payment. By then my lawyer had already stated in the notice that according to section 138, she has to pay 18 percent of the bounced cheques. After that no money has been transferred and there is no response from Meenakshi regarding our payments. It’s been 7 months and our payments have not been cleared. I am left with no chance but to seek the help of media,” says Sara.
Sara states that she feels hurt at being betrayed in this way.
“I feel very cheated as I used to work religiously and would travel for 3 hours daily to Naigaon for the show. Most of the time I even put in extra hours, which clearly has not been appreciated,” she says.