On Thursday, a Ranchi court refused to stay the release of the Bollywood film "Jugjugg Jeeyo" in a suit claiming copyright infringement.
(Vishal Singh v. Dharma Productions)
The Hon'ble Judge Manoj Chandra Jha dismissed the plea moved by the petitioner and held that the balance of convenience lay in the defendants' favour.
The court said that,
"The plaintiff is not likely to succeed but presuming that even if they are still, the order for injunction is tilted in favour of the defendants considering the balances of convenience and irreparable loss."
A man named Vishal Singh filed the lawsuit, alleging that the defendants' production of the movie violated his copyright in the "Bunny Rani" story.
He said that it was very evident that the defendants had copied and utilised the plaintiff's story only by watching the movie trailer and comparing it to the plaintiff's story.
In this regard, the plaintiff requested an interim stay to the film's release from the defendants in the lawsuit in addition to a compensation demand of Rs.1.5 crore.
However, the defendants countered that they had invested huge amounts of money in the film's development and that there was no case at all. Therefore, if the movie's release is delayed, they will sustain an irreparable loss. It was claimed that costs of around Rs.13.95 crores on marketing and promotion and Rs.6.05 crores on distribution were incurred.
The plaintiff had brought the lawsuit after just watching the movie's trailer, the judge observed after considering all the factors.
The judge said that,
"It is not possible for any person to reach a conclusion about the similarity merely on the basis of one page story with the few minutes trailer of the film."
Additionally, it was found that the balance of convenience was in favour of the defendants on considering the amount spent by the defendants on production to the plaintiff's claim for loss or damages.
The request to delay the movie's release was thus rejected.
The plaintiff was represented by senior attorney Ajit Kumar, as well as attorneys Saurabh Arun, Kumar Vaibhabh, Abhay Prakash, and Rahul Pandey.
Advocates Indrajit Sinha, Pranaya Goyal, Kundan Kumar Verma, Sneh Singh, Senior Advocate Chander M. Lall, and Chitranjan Sinha represented the defendants.
Viacom 18 Media was represented by advocates Ameet Naik, Madhu Gadodia, Salona Mittal, and Srikant Pillai of Naik Naik & Co.