The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cost of Devdas price for Bharat’s trip

Mumbai, Dec. 19: With the amount of money he is spending on his freedom, he could have made Devdas twice over and more.

A special court today allowed film financier Bharat Shah to visit Paris and London from December 21 to January 6 to promote Devdas, India’s official entry to the Oscars, on a security deposit of Rs 50 crore.

Designated judge A.P. Bhangale directed Shah to furnish the security before leaving the country.

It is the same amount of money that went into making Devdas, India’s most expensive film till date.

The court said in case he did not return from abroad, the security would be attached and placed at the disposal of the Maharashtra government.

Shah was also asked to make his lawyers report to the court during his absence.

Shah’s lawyer Vibhav Krishna asked the court to grant him permission to go abroad as he had to meet various persons in Paris and London to negotiate the dubbing rights of Devdas in foreign languages.

In September, Shah paid around Rs 77 crore to attend the double wedding of his brother’s children in Antwerp. “I have to pay similar amounts every time I go abroad,” said Shah.

Also a diamond merchant, he faces charges of forging links with the underworld to extort money from film personalities.

Shah said the US-based agency Eros International is taking care of Devdas’ promotion abroad. He added that he has not mapped out his trip.

“A lot depends on how Devdas fares at the Golden Globe awards nominations tonight,” he said.

The film has been nominated from India for the foreign film category in the Gloden Globe awards, too.

“We have entered Devdas in many foreign competitions to create awareness of the film abroad,” he added.

The court today also permitted co-accused Mohammed Shamshuddin alias Bhatija to visit Dubai from December 21 to January 6 to maintain his residential status. Bhatija is a citizen of Dubai and has to report there on December 23 to retain his citizenship.

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