A court here will on June 1 hear a suit filed by the company of producer Allu Aravind seeking an injunction against the release of Hindi film Raabta over alleged copyright infringement. The court has issued notices to producers of Raabta, which stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon in the lead, and is scheduled to hit the theatres on June 9.
The suit was filed before the City Civil Courts here on May 24 by Geetha Arts, the film production and distribution company owned by Aravind. The company, in the suit, said the story of Raabta is very similar to the Telugu film Magadheera, produced by Aravind.
Raabta seeks to copy, plagiarise and violate its copyrights contained in Magadheera, the company said. “Geetha Arts, the original makers of Magadheera, felt through various sources, including the trailer and publicity material, that the Hindi film Raabta is being remade violating our copyrights.
“The story line, plot and screenplay of ‘Magadheera’ was copied without taking prior approval or permission from Geetha Arts,” it said. The suit contended that the story/script along with similar screenplay in the absence of any authorization is a clear violation of the copyrights and other intellectual properties vested with Geetha Arts. It sought an interim injunction against the film’s release. After hearing the petitioner, the court ordered the issuance of notices to producers of Raabta and posted the matter for June 1.
Magadheera, starring Kajal Aggarwal and Ram Charan Tej, was released in 2009. Directed by S S Rajamouli, the film is about two estranged lovers meeting in another life. Raabta is also said to be a reincarnation drama. Meanwhile, the producers of Raabta denied any copyright violation.”It has come to our attention that Geeta Arts has initiated a court proceeding in Hyderabad against the release of our film ‘Raabta’ claiming it is a copy of ‘Magadheera’.”We are yet to receive the relevant suit papers and therefore cannot give a specific comment on the subject matter,” the producers said in a statement in Mumbai.” We would like to, however, categorically reject even the remotest of suggestions that our film is a copy of Magadheera. “We find it extremely disrespectful when people from the industry belittle someone’s hard work and jump to conclusions merely on the basis of a mere 2-minute 14-second trailer, without verifying the facts or waiting for the film to release for the public to give its verdict,” they said.
“No one can claim copyright in ideas and plots” has been the very essence of copyright law in India for decades. Indian cinema has always promoted and encouraged creative expression of ideas. “We have put together an original film that presents our vision of a timeless love story. We hope the court will uphold this view and promote creative expression,” the statement added.