Malayalam film director Sreekumar Menon was arrested late Thursday night by the Alappuzha South police on charges of cheating and is in custody, a top officer confirmed.
Around three months ago, corporate firm Sreevalsam Group had gone to court against Menon accusing him of pocketing Rs 7 crore on the pretext of producing a film and failing to meet the promise, Alappuzha DySP Prithewiraj DK said. A case was filed against the director under Section 420 of the IPC at the Alappuzha South police station in connection with the litigation.
As the investigation progressed, Menon approached the Alappuzha district court for an anticipatory bail fearing arrest. However, the court dismissed his petition. Subsequently, the police arrested him from his Palakkad residence late Thursday night, taking him into custody. He will be produced before a magistrate in Alappuzha Friday.
Menon, a veteran of ad films, had made his debut in the Malayalam film industry through ‘Odiyan’ starring Mohanlal in 2018. The film received mixed reviews from critics but went on to become a commercial blockbuster at the box office.
He was briefly arrested in 2019 after actress Manju Warrier filed a case against him, accusing him of defaming her on social media platforms.
Menon had also attracted controversy over an unfulfilled film project based on the novel ‘Randamoozham’ written by MT Vasudevan Nair, and touted as the most expensive Malayalam movie ever made. The novel was a retelling of the Mahabharata epic from the point of view of the character Bhim. When the film didn’t materialise even after three years of purchasing the script from MT, the veteran writer moved court against Menon. Last year, the Supreme Court approved a settlement between the duo as per which Menon will return the script to MT and the latter returning the money he received as advance from the director.