A special court in Chennai for MPs and MLAs ordered one year imprisonment for actor Radikaa Sarathkumar, her husband, actor Sarath Kumar and their business partner Listin Stephen on Wednesday. The court on Wednesday convicted the three of them and also imposed a fine of Rs 3.30 crore. Following a petition from Sarath Kumar and Listin seeking to suspend the order since they were going to appeal their case with the High Court, the court granted interim relief on the imprisonment order for 30 days.
The order has come on a case of cheque fraud filed against Magic Frames, a partnership firm in which Radikaa, Sarath Kumar and Listin are partners. The petition was filed by Radiance Media, a film financing company that had loaned an amount of Rs 1.5 crore to Magic Frames in the year 2014. Additionally, Sarath Kumar had borrowed Rs 50 lakh as hand loan from Radiance Media. At the time, it was said that the amount would be spent in the making of the film titled Idhu Enna Maayam in 2015.
While the borrowed amount had to be returned by March 2015, Radiance Media alleged that the seven cheques that were issued by Magic Frames bounced at the bank and consequently seven cases were filed. Notably, the partners of Magic Frames had promised to hand over the filmâ€™s television rights or the rights of their next film if they were unable to return the money. Their properties in T Nagar too were pledged for this loan.
Meanwhile, when their end of the agreement was not upheld and after repeated requests, Radiance Media filed a petition with the fast track court in Saidapet. The financing company, in its petition filed in 2017 had requested for â€œmaximum sentence under section 138 r/w 141 and 142 of Negotiable Instrument Act and under section 420 of IPC and further order payment of compensation to the tune of double the cheque amount as provided under the Negotiable Instrument Act 1988."
Notably in July 2019, a Chennai court had ordered bailable arrest warrants against Radikaa, Sarath Kumar and Listin Stephen in connection with the case of financial fraud. Since they had not appeared at the court for the hearing, an arrest warrant has been issued by the court.
Sarath Kumar, founder of the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2011 from Tenkasi constituency. His party was in an alliance with the AIADMK when Jayalalithaa was at the helm. This Assembly elections, Sarath Kumar's party formed an alliance with Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam. While the couple did not contest in the elections, they campaigned for the MNM alliance.