Copyright Row: SC Refuses to Lift Stay on Release of Big B's Jhund

The makers of Jhund have landed in trouble over alleged copyright infringement.

2 min read
Poster of <i>Jhund.</i>

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 18 November, declined to lift stay on the release of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Jhund, as per a report by Bar and Bench.

A three-judge Bench dismissed the appeal by the producer of the movie, Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Limited (Known as T-Series), challenging a 19 October order of the Telangana High Court restraining the release of Jhund in India and abroad over copyright infringement.

Jhund, based on the life of the founder of NGO Slum Soccer Vijay Barse and directed by Nagraj Manjule, was supposed to release on Amazon Prime Video this month. Hyderabad-based filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar had filed a case against the makers of Jhund over alleged copyright infringement.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court observed that it was an interesting case and it would direct that the trial will be completed in six months, reported PTI. However, the counsel for the filmmaker stated that the movie will lose its value in six months and they were willing to pay the person in question.

He said that amount of Rs 1.3 crore was agreed between the parties but now they are not adhering to the agreement. Senior advocate P S Narasimha, appearing for Kumar, and others said that court may direct for disposal of the case which is pending in the trial court within six months. A trial court in Telangana had stayed the release of the movie till the conclusion of the case on 17 September. The decision was upheld by the High Court on 19 October.

Nandi Chinni Kumar had claimed in his petition that he bought the exclusive rights from Akhilesh Paul in 2017 as he intended on making a biopic, titled Slum Soccer, based on the football player who was the Indian captain at the Homeless World Cup.

In Jhund, Bachchan plays the role of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher from Nagpur who starts a slum football movement.

Kumar had told PTI that Paul had also signed a No Objection Certificate, declaring that the director had been given exclusive rights to make the biopic in any language and it had not been given to anyone else. “But he (Paul) went back on the promise and entered into another agreement with Jhund producers,” he alleged.

The filmmaker had claimed that he sent several e-mails to the producers seeking clarification on the issue but received no response. He had further alleged that his project had been delayed because of threats and criminal intimidation over the phone.

(With inputs from PTI and Bar and Bench)

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