Mohenjo Daro clears copyright infringement case


The makers of the movie ‘Mohenjo Daro’ heaved a sigh of relief when the Bombay HC on August 2nd,2016 (Tuesday) dismissed a plea for an interim relief by the plaintiff who had alleged that the director of the movie had supposedly infringed his copyright in the script. The plaintiff, Akashaditya Lama had sent a legal notice to the producers of the movie Mohenjo Daro,director Ashutosh Gowariker and Hrithik Roshan, seeking a stay on the film’s production and release. He alleged that he had come up with the idea about the movie way back in 1995 and had developed the same in the form of a script. He further alleged that he had handed over the script to his friend Jaswinder Saluja who was then an associate of Ashutosh Gowariker. According to Lama, Ashutosh Gowariker had not shown any kind of interest when the script was sketched to him by Jaswinder  Saluja. Akashaditya has directed the 2012 film ‘Cigarette Ki Tarah’ and worked as assistant director on ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’.

The Bombay High Court heard the entire matter on August 1st , 2016 and passed the verdict on August 2nd, 2016. Hon’ble Justice G. S Patel not only dismissed the injunction plea against the makers of the film, but also imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 1, 50,000 against Lama. Justice G.S Patel stated that Lama was not able to make out a case and also highlighted the recent trend of harassing film producers by knocking the doors of justice just prior to release of a movie.  Justice Patel  passed a detailed order and severely criticized the plaintiff for unnecessarily approaching different forums and making claims which are not backed by any concrete evidence. The Judge slammed Lama for releasing press and media articles, YouTube interviews filled with allegations against Gowariker, and stated that this amounts to slandering of Ashutosh Gowariker, who is a director of good repute. The order also contains details about the time consuming and painstaking research which the makers of the movie have undertaken to make the film a success.  The order states that the makers of the movie had framed their story line in accordance with the theories and opinions which were put forth by archaeologists and renowned experts.

The movie after receiving a green signal from the CBFC and clearing the copyright infringement hurdle is all set for its worldwide release on August 12, 2016.

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Authored by Sudha Sameekshya
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