Actor-producer Upasana Singh, who is well known in the Hindi and Punjabi film industry, filed a court case on Thursday against Miss Universe Harnaaz Sandhu. Upasana has accused Harnaaz of not honouring her work commitment towards the former’s Punjabi production Bai Ji Kuttange. As per the agreement between them, Harnaaz was expected to give 25 days for the film’s promotions but has not fulfilled them. Upasana says that winning the pageant has changed the young artiste.
The civil suit was filed under Section 10 of Specific Relief Act, 2018, read with Section 73 of Indian Contract Act, 1872, for claiming damages from the defendant for non-performance of her obligations in terms of the agreement between them. The complainant firm, through counsel Karan Sachdeva, has claimed damages of Rs 1 crore from Harnaaz.
Talking about the damages, Upasana Singh told indianexpress.com, “My film’s release date was 27 May and for us it was the biggest day of our lives when Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu became Miss Universe. We partied and celebrated her. Everyone knew how close I was to her. After I told her that the dates of promotions for my film are around May 27, she stopped taking my calls. Then I started messaging her asking, ‘The film is releasing on May 27. Tell me what dates will you give me for promotions.’ I started sending her mails, but she didn’t reply to anything.”
The troubled producer continued, “I sent her the poster of the film announcing the release date and every actor of the film shared that poster on their social media handles but she did not. At that time I felt that this is very weird.”
Upasana Singh also claimed that she decided to change Bai Ji Kuttange’s release date from May 27 to August 19, hoping that Harnaaz Sandhu would make herself available for promotions.
“I requested her so much but then I thought that as she has recently won the pageant, maybe she has some commitments, so I should change the date. I changed the film’s release date to August 19. Then I started contacting her but I didn’t get any response. She started avoiding everyone in my friend’s circle. Someone called her saying that there is a show in Dubai, to which she agreed and discussed details. But when the same person told Harnaaz to talk about my film’s dates, she disconnected the call. This is how she has insulted me,” said the 47-year-old actor.
Upasana Singh further explained the financial loss caused by Harnaaz Sandhu.
“I sent her a notice that if she doesn’t give me dates, I will file a case because I lost my distributor in this case because the earlier distributors knew that Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu is there in this film. Other people were supposed to invest in my film, not me. Today, I have a loan of Rs 1 crore 60 lakh to release this film only because of Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu as people stepped back because she did. My film got delayed and I have its interest. So many posters, so much publicity had happened earlier, everything went to waste,” revealed Upasana, whose son Nanak will be making his acting debut with the upcoming film.
She added, “In this age also I got fooled by her. I could never imagine that she could do this to me.”
Harnaaz Sandhu won the Miss Universe crown on December 13, 2021. Upasana Singh feels that the achievement has changed Harnaaz and that she doesn’t respect Punjabi film industry anymore.
“She is considering Punjabi film as a small thing and she feels that she will do Bollywood and Hollywood. When you become Miss Universe, you say ‘Chakk de fatte’. You say I am a Punjabi and I am proud. However, you consider Punjabi language as small. Such a big film I have made. My lifetime’s savings is invested in it. My son’s career depends on it and now for you, Punjabi people are small. Now Hollywood and Bollywood are big,” said Upasana.
The senior actor added, “So many big celebrities don’t leave their mother tongue but she considers us so small that she didn’t share even one poster. How much time does it take? It takes 30 seconds. She puts up pictures of her parties and Holi and everything else. Forget emotionally but as a professional wasn’t she supposed to take a stand with me? I have an agreement of hers for 25 days but she can’t give me 5 days?”
Not just as a producer, Upasana Singh feels betrayed personally as well. The actor goes down memory lane to remember the time she first met Harnaaz Sandhu, who was a struggling actor at that time.
“At that time, she was a struggler and she had come to me with her mother. She had asked me to give her a chance. I liked her and I thought that we should give chances to newcomers. I came from a small place and I have reached this stage with a lot of difficulty. I understand journeys very well and how new girls have to struggle to get work. I understand it and therefore I always thought that when I make films, I will give change to new people who deserve it so that they don’t have to struggle like me. With that intention, I gave her the chance. After that, I gave her a chance in another film as well,” recalled Upasana.
Going forward, Upasana Singh says that the court will send a summons to Harnaaz Sandhu.
“I am doing this so that the world should know that what has happened to me shouldn’t happen with them,” she concluded.