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Jail term strains Dutt’s business relations

April 01, 2013

Sanjay Dutt leaves a special court trying the cases of those accused in the 1993 Mumbai bombings in Mumbai, India.–AP Photo .

Sanjay Dutt's impending incarceration has put considerable strain on his many business interests. One of them is the Super Fight League, which he launched along with Raj Kundra in 2012. Buzz is, Venky's Nutrition, one of the leading sponsors for the League, has failed to clear its dues to the company. The deal between Dutt and Kundra's venture and Venky's venture was valid for the first three events, and sealed between Rs 7 and 8 crore, say sources close to the franchise. Given that Dutt and Venky's owner Balaji Rao are good friends, it has made matters a bit tricky.

A source close to the league told TOI, "Bala is close to Sanjay, who introduced him to Kundra. In fact, it was Dutt who suggested getting Venky on board as a sponsor and an agreement was signed between them for the first three events."

According to reports, after Venky's allegedly failed to pay the sponsorship money, the SFL team sent him gentle reminders. He was never really put under any kind of pressure to clear the dues, given his proximity to Sanjay, who continued to vouch for his friend's commitment to the contract.

And while Kundra would have continued to wait for Venky's to pay up, Dutt's prison term has sent alarm bells ringing, "There is a lot of pressure on the fight league. And to tie up all the loose ends, the SFL team tried to call Bala, who has not responded so far. If he is Dutt's friend, he should now step forward and do what needs to be done."

When TOI got in touch with Kundra, he said, "Bala is a very large-hearted and nice guy but yes I can't deny we have outstanding dues from Venky's Nutrition." At the time of going to the press, Venky's media manager had not reverted to our query.