Supreme Court Relief For ‘Kantara’ Makers Over Plagiarism Row
The Kerala High Court’s order instructing the producer and director of the Kannada superhit movie “Kantara” to not screen the movie containing the song “Varaharoopam” till a decision in the copyright infringement case is made was suspended by the Supreme Court on Friday.
The Kerala government was also given notice by a bench consisting of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, and asked for a response within two weeks.
When the producer Vijay Kirgandur and the director Rishab Shetty were detained, the bench changed one of the high court’s requirements and ordered their immediate release on bail.
The supreme court issued an interim ruling after taking note of senior attorney Ranjit Kumar’s arguments on behalf of Mr. Kirgandur and Mr. Shetty, who were opposing various stipulations in the high court judgement.
The director and producer were given anticipatory release on February 8 in a complaint brought by the Kozhikode police station for song copying. It was claimed that the song “Varaharoopam” that was broadcast on the Malayalam music channel Kappa TV was an unauthorised copy of “Navarasam.” The high court set forth five requirements and ordered Mr. Kirgandur and Mr. Shetty to appear before the investigating officer for questioning on February 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“The Investigating Officer can interrogate them and on completion of interrogation within the above time specified, if they will be arrested, they shall be produced before the jurisdictional court. On such production, the jurisdictional court shall release the petitioners on bail on their executing bonds for Rs.50,000 each with two solvent sureties each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court concerned”, the high court had said.
It stated that the accused must assist with the inquiry and be present for the trial and must not threaten the witnesses or tamper with the evidence. Additionally, it stated that the petitioners/accused should not leave India without the jurisdictional court’s prior approval.
“The specific condition further is that the petitioners shall not exhibit the film ‘KANTARA’ along with the music ‘VARAHAROOPAM’ in the film until an interim order or final order after addressing infringement of copyright in this matter will be passed by a competent civil court,” the fifth condition, which the top court stayed, read.
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