Supreme Court refuses to lift stay on release of 'Jhund'
The Supreme Court has refused to lift the stay on the release of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer upcoming film Jhund. The top court has dismissed an appeal by the movie's producers against the Telangana High Court's order which had stalled its release over copyright issues. Hence, the film might not get a release anytime soon. Here are more details on this.
The legal battle began after Nandi Chinni Kumar, a Hyderabad-based filmmaker alleged copyright infringement against the makers of the movie. However, they have denied the allegations. Kumar claimed that he had bought exclusive rights in November 2017 to make a movie titled "Slum Soccer" on the life of Akhilesh Paul, a slum soccer player who was the Indian captain at the Homeless World Cup.
Jhund is based on the life of Vijay Barse, who is Paul's coach. Kumar claimed that the director of the film, Nagraj Manjule, producer Savita Raj, and T-Series' Vice President Shiv Chanana told him that they bought the rights from Paul. However, Kumar said that Paul gave him three no-objection certificates stating that he did not sell the rights to the makers of Jhund.
Kumar told IANS, "Akhilesh (Paul) had given three no-objection certificates to me stating that he did not sell any rights or had given any consent to Nagraj Manjule or any makers of Jhund. I am the sole authorized person to exploit life story rights (sic)."
A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian dismissed the appeal filed by one of the film's production companies, Super Cassettes Industries, also known as T-Series. The producers of the movie had moved the apex court, challenging the earlier order of the Telangana High Court, which had stalled the movie's release over the said matter.
"The special leave petitions are dismissed. As a sequel to the above, pending interlocutory applications, if any, stand disposed of (sic)," the Supreme Court bench stated in its order.
In the SC hearing, makers of Jhund claimed that a settlement of Rs. 1.3 crore was earlier agreed upon, but they are not adhering to the agreement now. "A cinematograph film is a perishable commodity and halting of the complex process...at such a belated stage could prove to be fiscally ruinous for the petitioner and make the entire project financially unviable," the petition said.
Directed by Nagraj Manjule, the film is based on the life of Vijay Barse, the founder of an NGO called Slum Soccer. It has been co-produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Manjule and others under the banners of T-series, Tandav Films and Aatpaat Films. The shooting of the movie began in December 2018 and was wrapped up in August last year.
For the unversed, Vijay Barse is a Nagpur-based retired sports professor, who has transformed the lives of countless street kids and youngsters by keeping them off drugs and crime and introducing them to the concept of "Jhoparpatti football" or slum soccer.