A court in Bengaluru has granted conditional bail to Tamil film actor Rajinikanth’s wife Latha Rajinikanth in a forgery case against her. The dispute is over the rights of the Tamil movie Kochadaiyaan starring Rajinikanth and Deepika Padukone. A Chennai based company called Ad Bureau Advertising Pvt Ltd filed a case of cheating against Latha Rajinikanth alleging that they loaned Rs 10 crore to Media One, which was one of the producers of the movie because Latha Rajinikanth signed as a guarantor.
“For me, it's a case of humiliation and harassment and exploitation of a popular person. This is the price we pay for being celebrities. So there may not be a big case, but the news becomes very big. There is no fraud. I have nothing to do with the money that is being reported. That is between Media One and the concerned people. They have already settled and the topic is between them. I made sure as a guarantor that they have been paid,” she said.
Based on Ad Bureau’s complaint, charges were filed against Latha under Sections 196 (using evidence known to be false), 199 (false statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence), 420 (cheating) and 463 (forgery) of the IPC (Indian Penal Code). The Karnataka High Court in its order from August 2, held that the court is barred from taking cognisance for offences under Sections 196 and 199. The court sustained the charges under Section 463 (forgery), as punishable under Section 465 (punishment for forgery) of the IPC.
In August 2022, the Karnataka High Court quashed three of the four charges against her in the case. The court quashed three charges — cheating, giving false statements, and using evidence known to be false. But in October 2023, the Supreme Court directed the restoration of the case.
According to the firm Ad Bureau, they loaned Rs 10 crore when the film — directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth — faced a cash crunch during production. The film was released in 2014 and incurred losses, Ad-Bureau moved the Supreme Court two years later alleging that Latha had not repaid Rs 6.2 crore to them.
In 2015, Bengaluru police filed an FIR against Latha Rajinikanth for allegedly submitting fake documents in a Bengaluru court, to ensure that a media gag order was issued. This gag order was obtained by Latha in 2014 against 95 media publications in the country. She had approached the court for a temporary injunction against any reports related to herself or her family with regards to allegations made by Ad Bureau Advertising Pvt Ltd in the financial dispute case.
The temporary injunction was obtained by Latha after her counsel filed a letter printed with the letter head ‘Publishers and Broadcasters Welfare Association of India’. However, the Press Club of Bangalore later confirmed in a letter to Ad Bureau that the Publishers and Broadcasters Welfare Association of India had no connection to it, and did not exist under its banner. Following this development, Ad Bureau had filed a private complaint in a magistrate court in Bengaluru, accusing Latha of producing a fabricated document.