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All Decks Cleared for Screening of Film on Brigand

Published: 30th December 2015 04:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2015 04:46 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI/BENGALURU:The high courts of Madras and Karnataka respectively on Tuesday refused to stay the release of Tamil feature film Veerappan Killing, scheduled to be screened from January 1, 2016.

When the matter came before the vacation judge of Madras High Court, K Kalyana Sundaram, he refused to stay the release, adjourned the matter till January 4, after the special government pleader submitted that he needed time to get instructions from the government on the petitioner’s other prayer for a directive to the State Home Secretary and the Regional Censor Board of Film Certification to file a report on issuing a ‘U’ certificate to the film.

In her petition, B Panneerselvi of Saminaickenpatti village, Salem district alleged that the film, directed by Ramgopal Verma, insulted Tamils, specifically women, by depicting them as carrying and using deadly weapons and for giving full credit to the Karnataka Police alone in the encounter death of Veerappan.

The entire movie had false information which would create law and order problems in the state, petitioner had asserted.

Meanwhile, the hurdles for the release of multi-lingual movie Killing Veerappan were cleared on Tuesday when the Karnataka High Court dismissed an appeal filed by a Chennai-based producer seeking directions to restrain the filmmakers temporarily from releasing and exhibiting the film, based on the life of the forest brigand pending disposal of a suit.

Judge B Veerappa dismissed the Miscellaneous First Appeal (MFA) filed by Chennai-based director and producer A Raja. He had filed the MFA against the dismissal of his interlocutory application (IA) by Judge G S Deshpande, LIX

Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru City, on December 7, 2015. In his IA, Raja sought a temporary injunction on the film makers from releasing and exhibiting the film Killing Veerappan slated to be release on Friday, pending disposal of the suit.

The respondents in the MFA are V Muthulakshmi, 47 years, wife of Koose Muniswamy Veerappan, B V Manjunath, B S Suthintra, E Sivaprakash and Raghu Aachar, the incharge of business at G R Productions and director Ram Gopal Varma.

While dismissing the IA, Judge Deshpande said that the filmmakers are entitled to make the film without the consent of Raja or Muthulakshmi. If Raja came to know about making the film in September, he did not approach the court immediately asking for relief and filed this suit only on November 7, 2015. At this juncture, if temporary injunction is granted, the defendants will suffer irreparable loss, which cannot be compensated in terms of money, he said.

Considering this, Justice B Veerappa upheld the order of lower court. According to MFA, Raja entered agreement with Mutthulakshmi to make a film and TV serials on the life story of her husband in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada on May 18, 2006, for a period of three years and paid her `10 lakh.

Subsequently, this was renewed with a payment of `5 lakh on May 18, 2012, and April 12, 2015. In September 2015, he came to know about the production of Killing Veerappan. Then he wrote to Mutthulakshmi and asked whether she had given the rights of movie. She said that she had not given any right.

Later, he came to know that respondents had entered into an agreement with Muthulakshmi for making Killing Veerappan in Hindi and dubbing it in Tamil and they were all set to release the movie in Kannada, in violation of the agreement dated May 18, 2006.

If they did so, they would be infringing upon Raja’s exclusive right to make the film and TV serial. Therefore, he filed an IA in the suit for grant of temporary injunction and prayed it be allowed.

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