Chhapaak: Deepika Padukone's movie cleared for release as Bombay HC refuses any relief to plaintiff
Mumbai, Jan 08: Chhapaak movie cleared for release as Bombay High Court refused any relief to plaintiff alleging copyright infringement by makers of the movie. The Court kept all contentions open, matter to be taken after 6 weeks.
Movie director Meghna Gulzar had earlier told the Court and sought the dismissal of a suit filed by a writer Rakesh Bharti claiming he originally penned a story on the life of an acid attack survivor on which the film is based.
The affidavit, filed through Naik Naik and Company's advocates Ameet Naik and Madhu Gadodia, said the suit was "wholly misconceived, frivolous, legally untenable and unmeritorious".
The suit fails to make out any case of copyright infringement, the affidavit said, adding information available in public domain is not protected under Copyright Act.
"In the present case, the plaintiff (Bharti) has sought protection of an idea of a film based on the story of an acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal," Gulzar said in the affidavit.
True facts and events are not entitled to copyright protection, the affidavit added.
Bharti claimed that after conceptualising the idea for the movie, he had approached several artistes, but the film's production could not be started.
The writer has claimed that the producers of the movie have "maintained the entire story" which was conceptualised by him. The petition also stated that the plaintiff's son had also got the tentative name of the film - Black Day - registered with the producers' association i.e. IMPPA, which has been confirmed by them through a letter.
The petition further said that it had been "learnt by the plaintiff that save and except the same, some cosmetic changes have been made in the story, screenplay and the defendant have maintained entire story of the plaintiff as it is."
Chhapaak is based on the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi, who at the age of 15, was attacked allegedly by a spurned lover in 2005. The Deepika Padukone starrer is slated for release on January 10 and is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
The suit filed by Bharti claimed he had conceived an idea/script for a movie, tentatively titled 'Black Day', and got it registered with the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA) in February 2015.
Meanwhile, Leapfrogging from the entertainment section to the front pages of newspapers for showing up at JNU, Bollywood star Deepika Padukone was on Wednesday the cynosure of national attention earning bouquets but also many brickbats on social media and elsewhere.
On Tuesday evening, Deepika made a surprise visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru University to express solidarity with the students who had been attacked. Her decision to stand in silence with JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, who received head injuries during the attack on Sunday evening, at a public meeting in the campus prompted many in the industry and outside to praise her for her "quiet grace" and "courage".
It also had prompted hashtags to boycott her Friday release "Chhapaak", a film based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.