Bollywood art director Nitin Desai found dead

Desai was known for his art work in films like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’and others

Updated - August 02, 2023 11:00 pm IST

Published - August 02, 2023 11:21 am IST - Mumbai

Nitin Chandrakant Desai

Nitin Chandrakant Desai

Renowned Bollywood art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai (58) was found dead on the premises of his film studio in Karjat in Maharashtra’s Raigad district on Wednesday.

According to police, Mr. Desai, against whom an insolvency petition was filed with the Mumbai Bench of National Company Law Tribunal, died by suicide. The body was retrieved from his ND Studios and sent for autopsy. A case has been registered, and a probe is on to find out the reason for the extreme step.

Known for working on films like Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar, Devdas, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and others, Mr. Desai reportedly had trouble paying back a ₹252 crore loan.

His company had borrowed ₹185 crore via two loans from ECL Finance in 2016 and 2018. His financial troubles began in January 2020. The debt was later assigned to Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company Limited.

On January 31, 2020, the company failed to pay interest amounting to ₹4.17 crore against the loans, and the account was classified as a non-performing asset (NPA) by the creditors on March 31, 2021. The total default amount was ₹252.48 crore as of June 30, 2022.

The bankruptcy court admitted the petition filed by the creditor to initiate a corporate insolvency resolution process, and had appointed Jitender Kothari as the interim resolution professional. Sources said the management of Mr. Desai’s company would be with Mr. Kothari during the process.

Mr. Desai’s company had informed the court that said there was a fire at the studio in May 2021, which resulted in loss of property. Further, it blamed the creditors for sending a recovery notice on the same day.

“It is sad to know that he ended his life,” Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in the Assembly.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde too expressed his condolences to the bereaved family.

Those who require assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts may contact Aasra (022-27546669) or the Vandrevala Foundation (18602662345/18002333330).

Those in distress could seek help and counselling by calling helplines from this link.

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