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SC stays Kerala HC condition on screening ‘Kantara’

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Kerala High Court’s condition directing the producer and director of the Kannada superhit movie ”Kantara” to not exhibit the film with the song ”Varaharoopam” till a final order in the copyright infringement case.

A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala also issued notice to the Kerala government and sought its reply in two weeks. The bench modified one of the conditions of the high court and directed that producer Vijay Kirgandur and director Rishab Shetty be released on bail immediately if arrested.

The top court took note of the submissions of senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Kirgandur and Shetty, challenging some conditions in the high court order and passed an interim order.

On February 8, the high court granted anticipatory bail to the director and producer in a case registered in a Kozhikode police station alleging plagiarism in the song. The allegation was that ”Varaharoopam” was an unauthorised copy of the song ”Navarasam” shown on the Malayalam music channel Kappa TV. The high court laid out five conditions and asked Kirgandur and Shetty to surrender before the investigating officer for two days on February 12 and 13 between 10 am and 1 pm for interrogation. ”The Investigating Officer can interrogate them and on completion of interrogation within the above time specified, if they will be arrested, they shall be produced before the jurisdictional court. On such production, the jurisdictional court shall release the petitioners on bail on their executing bonds for Rs.50,000 each with two solvent sureties each for the like amount to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional court concerned”, the high court had said. It said the accused shall not intimidate the witnesses or tamper with evidence and they shall cooperate with the investigation and shall be available for trial. It also said that that the accused/petitioners should not leave India without prior permission of the jurisdictional court.

Condition number five, which is stayed by the top court, said, ”The specific condition further is that the petitioners shall not exhibit the film `KANTARA’ along with the music `VARAHAROOPAM’ in the film till an interim order or final order after addressing infringement of copyright in this matter will be passed by a competent civil court…” PTI

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