In a shocking development, a special court in Chennai has on Wednesday awarded a one-year prison sentence each to veteran actor Sarathkumar and his wife Raadhika Sarathkumar. Sarathkumar is an actor-turned-politician and the founder of Samathuva Makkal Katchi. He had contested in the Tamil Nadu assembly polls by forming an alliance with Kamal Haasan and the development has come a day after the polling has completed in the state.
According to reports, the Sarathkumars were bestowed with a one-year prison sentence after convicting them under a cheque racketing case. The special court in Chennai that has been installed to probe the cases involving the elected representatives including MLA and MP had dictated the judgment on Wednesday. According to reports, Sarathkumar and Raadhika Sarathkumar were accused of failing to repay the debt and involving in a cheque racket.
What happened and what's behind the case? The reports say that Magic Frames production company, in which Sarathkumar and Raadhika were directors, had decided to produce a movie in 2014 by roping in Vikram Prabhu and Keerthy Suresh. To produce the movie, the couple had approached Radiant company and obtained Rs 1.5 crore debt with the assurance that they will repay the amount by March 2015.
They further asserted that the movie will be released only after settling the funds. However, they failed to repay the amount and they went on produce a movie called 'Paambu Sattai' by using the fund. After Radiant company had urged the Sarathkumars to pay the amount back, they had reportedly given a cheque to the company. However, the cheque leaf has got bounced back due to insufficient funds in the bank account post which Radiant company had approached the court and filed its petition against Sarathkumar and Raadhika by accusing them of failing to pay the amount and involving in cheque racketing.
Around seven cases were filed against Sarathkumar while two cases were filed against Raadhika. In the albeit of the probe, the couple had skipped the trial and failed to appear in the court which invited them a warning that they will be issued with an arrest warrant. The reports say that Sarathkumar and Raadhika had then moved their arguments in the court and said that they had no intentions of embezzlement and stated that they couldn't repay the money due to the huge interest rate.
However, the Radiant company has said that it's been evidently proven that the couple had been involved in cheque racketing. After hearing the arguments, the court has adjourned the verdict and on Tuesday, it had resumed the proceedings to dictate the judgment. The special court justice had found the couple was involved in a cheque racket and awarded a one-year prison sentence each for Sarathkumar and Raadhika. The court has also given a one-year prison sentence to Stephen, who is another accused in the case.
The development that Sarathkumar and Raadhika were given a prison sentence has come a day after Tamil Nadu had gone through the polling to elect the new government. Sarathkumar's Samathuva Makkal Katchi had contested in the polls by forming a coalition with Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam and Paarivendhar's Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK). The parties had formed the third front to take on the ADMK and DMK. As Sarathkumar was awarded a prison sentence, it has shocked his party members and alliance.
According to the reports close to the developments, Sarathkumar has moved his petition to the court requesting the judicial body to cease the sentence until they make an appeal. It has been reported that the court will take up his petition on Wednesday evening post which it will come to light on whether Sarathkumar steps into the prison or wins the time to appeal against the sentence.