The Delhi High Court has allowed the release of Ranbir Kapoor-starrer film Shamshera on OTT platforms subject to Yash Raj Films depositing Rs 1 crore with its registry.
The order was passed by Justice Jyoti Singh on a lawsuit by Bikramjeet Singh Bhullar alleging infringement of his copyright in the literary work ‘Kabu na chhadein Khet’ by the filmmakers.
In the order dated August 18, the judge noted that the film was released in theatres last month and was scheduled to be released on OTT platforms on Friday therefore, to balance the equities between the parties, it would be appropriate to allow the release of the film on OTT platforms subject to the deposit of Rs one crore by August 22.
If the money is not deposited in time, there shall be an injunction on the further telecast of the film on OTT Platforms with effect from August 23, the court added.
“Considering the totality of the circumstances as well as the fact that the impugned film has already been released in theatres and is scheduled to be released on the OTT Platforms tomorrow i.e. 19.08.2022, in my view, in order to balance the equities between the parties, at this stage, it would be appropriate to permit Defendant No. 1 to release the impugned film “Shamshera”, on the OTT Platforms, subject, however, to Defendant No. 1 (Yash Raj Films Pvt Ltd) depositing a sum of Rs.1 Crore with the Registrar General of this Court, latest by 22.08.2022,” the court said.
“It is made clear that if the money is not deposited within the timeline granted by this Court, an injunction shall operate against the further telecast of the movie on the OTT Platforms with effect from 23.08.2022. Needless to state, the deposit is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties to the lis and is only to balance the equities at this stage,” it added.
The plaintiff opposed the release of the film on OTT platforms on the ground that there was an infringement of his copyright by making a substantial reproduction of his work as well as a flagrant and dishonest breach of confidence.
The defendant filmmakers urged the court to permit the release of the film on OTT platforms, saying that otherwise, they would be in breach of their contractual obligations to third parties.
It was also said that they would suffer an irreparable injury and the plaintiff can always be compensated in terms of money in case he succeeds.