Bollywood movie Bhoothnath Returns, starring Amitabh Bachchan, will hit theatres on April 11 as per schedule as the Delhi High Court today refused to stay its release and rejected an interim plea of a Hindi writer that the film was copied from his literary work.
Justice A K Pathak asked the producers and others to file
their response to the lawsuit of Sushant Supriya, Hindi short
story writer and poet, within four weeks.
The court, however, rejected the interim application of
the author that the release of the movie be stalled otherwise
he would face irreparable injury.
The court perused, analysed and compared the brief synopsis of
the script of the film and the trailer with the story
Bhootnath written by Supriya in 2007.
"Their perusal shows that there may be some semblance
between the petitioner's story and the film as they both
relate to ghosts, but there are no substantial similarities
between the two," the court said.
Bhoothnath Returns is a sequel to the 2008 movie
Bhoothnath, a ghost-based film whose shooting had started in
2006 and the story of Supriya was published in 2007, it said.
The court, however, made clear that its views were not
final and listed the case for hearing on July 7.
During the hearing, senior advocate Pratibha Maninder
Singh, appearing for the author, referred to nine expressions
from the trailer of the movie and said they have been copied
from short story Bhootnath of the writer published in 2007
in the Hindi magazine Aaj Kal.
The lawyer said Bhoothnath Returns is not the sequel to
earlier movie Bhoothnath.
Earlier, a larger bench had first asked the writer and
the other parties to try to settle the dispute and later said
that the single judge bench would decide the issue.
The petition had sought a direction from the court that
the producers be prevented from the "screening trailer" and
releasing the "infringing" film in theatres.
The petition said, "Unlike most sequels, the infringing
film is based on an entirely new storyline from the first
Bhoothnath film, and has no relationship with the first film,
especially in terms of the supporting cast.
"Even the central character of the infringing film has no
relationship with the central character of the first Bhoothnath
film. This demonstrates that the infringing film has
appropriated the plaintiff's original literary work."
It said, "An order for permanent injunction restraining
the defendants, their partners or proprietor, from
infringing the copyright of the plaintiff in the literary
character Bhootnath, from screening the trailer of the film
Bhoothnath Returns or releasing the film or parting with the
satellite or DVD or internet rights for the film" be
Bhoothnath Returns, directed by Nitesh Tiwari, is a
horror comedy film and is a sequel to the 2008 flick Bhoothnath.
The film has been produced by Bhushan Kumar, Krishan
Kumar, Ravi Chopra and co-produced by Ajay Kapoor.
Besides Mr Bachchan, Boman Irani and Shahrukh Khan are in
supporting roles. The film also has a cameo appearance by