The Supreme Court has approved a settlement arrived at between Malayalam writer M T Vasudevan Nair and film producer Sreekumar Menon regarding an unfulfilled project for on-screen adaptation of the former’s novel Randamoozham (Second chance).
The terms of the settlement, effected on July 2, were submitted on Monday before a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K M Joseph, which took note of it and allowed Menon to withdraw his petition.
“The Special Leave Petitions are disposed of as withdrawn since the dispute has been settled. The parties shall abide by the settlement,” read the order.
Sreekumar Menon and MT Vasudevan Nair (popularly known as MT) had agreed in 2014 to make a movie on the basis of the 1984 novel Randamoozham — a retelling of the Mahabharata from the point of view of Bhim — in three years’ time. However, this did not materialise even after the time was extended by one year, following which MT approached a Munsiff court. Menon also approached the High Court seeking arbitration, but this was rejected, following which he moved SC.
As per the terms of the settlement, Menon will “hand over the script both in Malayalam and English in typewritten and electronic form to” MT.
MT will “pay a sum of Rs. 1,25,00,000/-” to Menon which he received as advance from the filmmaker.
Sreekumar Menon also affirmed that he has not retained any copy of the script and agreed that “he will destroy all the works either in the electronic or in the physical form connecting the script…”.
The settlement also says that Menon “can proceed in his dream of creating a Magnum Opus based on the epic Mahabharata by roping in another story and scriptwriter or by creating his own story and script and screenplay which will be totally and substantially different from ‘Randamoozham’ written by the respondent and without Bhima as the central character”.
In case Sreekumar Menon proceeds in that direction, MT Vasudevan Nair will “desist from causing any hindrance whatsoever to” him “in his attempt to commercially exploit any movie/magnum opus based on the Mahabharata Legend”, the agreement said.
MT said, “As the project was delayed, I wanted to get the script back. I will decide on the next course of action after getting back the script, which is in the custody of a Kozhikode court…” Menon was not available for comment.
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