The Bombay High Court has allowed Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie Rangoon, embroiled in a commercial suit, to release as per schedule on Friday, subject to deposit of Rs 2 crore with the court as guarantee till final disposal of the matter.
Roy Wadia from Wadia Movietone Pvt Ltd., a production firm, had filed the suit earlier last week against Bhardwaj and the producers of the movie, claiming that actor Kangana Ranaut’s character in the film drew heavily from that of ‘Fearless Nadia’, the protagonist of its 1935 film ‘Hunterwali.’ He had sought damages and as interim relief a stay on the film’s release.
Justice K R Shriram, who was hearing arguments in the case for the past three days, Thursday refused to grant any relief relating to the film’s release and listed the plea for further hearing on its remaining prayers. “A sum of Rs 2 crore should be deposited in a nationalised bank as an undertaking,” said the court.
Appearing for Movietone, senior advocate Navroz Seervai had earlier argued that in 2005-06, his client had discussed a script with UTV, which was eventually forwarded to Bhardwaj.
The script was based on Nadia’s biography. Though the project fell through, the counsel claimed that Bhardwaj seemed to have lifted material from that script.
Senior advocate Ravi Kadam, appearing for Bhardwaj, had, rubbished all allegations of plagiarism and argued that even if one was to believe that Ranaut’s character in the film drew inspiration from that of ‘Fearless Nadia’, the allegations of copyright violations did not hold as Nadia was “a real person,” and a “historical figure”and there could not be any “copyright claim to a historical event or person.”