New Delhi: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth’s wife’s 1.5 acre property is coming up for auction. A possession notice issued by the public sector Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) in a major national daily said the bank had indeed taken possession of the said property in Padapai, Kancheepuram district, nearly 80 km from Chennai.
The notice says Latha Rajinikanth, the superstar’s wife, had stood guarantor for a loan to Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd, which was now worth Rs.22.21 crore along with the interest due on it.
“This amount is due as on July 17, 2014 together with further interest and liquidated damages as per contractual rates and other expenses/costs thereon with effect from July 18, 2014 till payment within 60 days from the date of receipt of the said notice. The borrower in particular and the public in general are hereby cautioned not to deal with the property/asset and any dealings with the property/asset will be subject to charges of Exim Bank for the amount outstanding as per its security documents, with further interest, costs, expenses and charges thereon with payment,” the notice said.
Film industry sources said this was adding to the woes of Rajinikanth especially after the drubbing of his new film Linga at the box office. “Linga is a commercial failure. Already distributors have upped their ante and some of them have started demanding compensation from Rajinikanth. A few among them have indeed planned to picket the superstar’s residence demanding compensation. After Rajinikanth compensated several distributors in a situation like this 10 years ago when his film Baba flopped, the distributors tasted blood. Now they want the superstar to repeat the same. But I don’t think Rajinikanth will yield this time,” says a producer on condition of anonymity.
Other said the mistake lay on both sides, Latha Rajinikanth and Exim Bank. “Latha Rajinikanth should had known her obligations and so was the bank and I think both failed in their fiduciary responsibilities,” says Shyam Sekar, an independent financial analyst who knows a thing or two about the film industry’s money flow. He said the trouble is probably a follow-up to Rajinikanth’s last film Kochadaiiyaan which was to a large extent linked with Mediaone Global Entertainment Ltd. It may be recalled that this is the first time that properties belonging to Rajinikanth are going to be auctioned.
In his nearly four decades in the film industry, Rajinikanth has been running into rough weather with bad and, troublingly, consistent patches over the last three years and more. Rajinikanth’s serious ailments in 2011 also added ruptures to his career graph. “In 2011, he fell seriously ill and was taken to Singapore Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. He was there for a few months. Though he acted in two films after that, he has not fully recovered yet,” says an industry watcher. Two consecutive flops are posing a serious and strong question mark over the future of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth.