A new producer is claiming to be at the receiving end of some hard time after signing on Saroj Khan to choreograph three songs for her maiden venture. According to Manju Bharti, the maker of a forthcoming film featuring Preeti Jhanghaini and Mukesh Bharti, Khan choreographed only one of the three songs and refused to return the remaining amount.
Manju tells HitList that they contracted Khan to choreograph three songs for a fee of Rs 4 lakh. “We paid Rs 1 lakh as the signing amount and the remaining in two cheques, of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh on her arrival on location in Srinagar,” she recalls, adding that after two days, Khan wanted to return to Mumbai for a dance reality show that features Madhuri Dixit.
The producer states that while they requested the veteran choreographer to fulfill her commitment, the latter insisted that Dixit’s show was more important. “The director Israr Ahmed too tried reasoning with Sarojji and requested her to consider our predicament, lest we suffer losses. It was according to her dates that we had booked the locations, travel and accommodation of the cast and crew. But she said that wasn’t her concern and her assistant would choreograph the remaining songs,” says Manju.
She further adds that Khan also insisted on booking a few extra tickets for her and her assistants’ family members. She says, “But a couple of days before, she called to cancel a couple of tickets. That was of no use as the tickets were non-refundable. While at first she had asked to adjust their cost with her fee, on reaching the location on April 23, she demanded to be paid her remaining fee without any deduction for the tickets.”
The producer says that even after they requested Khan to not deposit the cheques, the choreographer went ahead and let them bounce. “We were in Kashmir and couldn’t issue stop-payment instructions to our bank. Now, Sarojji is calling us every other day for the balance amount, though she hasn’t worked on the other two songs and left for Mumbai on April 25.”
At the time of going to the press, the producer confirmed that the makers were registering a complaint with the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (on Tuesday afternoon). Saroj Khan declined to comment saying, “I’ve already registered my complaint with the Federation. So I’ve nothing more to say now.”