The Telangana High Court on Friday slapped a cost of Rs1 million (Dh48,061) on Hyderabad-based filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar who had filed a petition seeking a stay on the release of the Amitabh Bachchan-led “Jhund”.
The court directed Kumar to pay the amount to the PM’s COVID-19 Relief Fund within a month. In the event of the petitioner failing to pay the amount, the District Collector would recover it under the Revenue Recovery Act within 30 days and remit it to the PM Fund.
The bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili, which had already declined to stall the release of the movie, asked counsel for the petitioner as to why he suppressed information pertaining to the case he had filed at a lower court on the same subject.
The court was told that a settlement agreement was already arrived between the makers of the movie and Kumar. As part of this, Kumar was paid Rs50 million.
“Jhund”, a biographical sports film based on the life of Vijay Barse, the founder of NGO ‘Slum Soccer’, was released in theatres on Friday.
Meanwhile, Kumar’s counsel Ritesh Tomar told IANS that they will challenge the high court order in the Supreme Court.
Kumar said he approached the trial court last week to recall the decree issued last year and stay the release of the movie citing violation of the settlement agreement by movie makers. The court had reserved the orders on his plea but as the movie was all set to be released, the petitioner approached the high court seeking the stay.
“Under the settlement agreement, all the cases should have been withdrawn but a case filed by Akhilesh Paul in Nagpur court was not withdrawn,” Kumar told IANS.
Paul has challenged an agreement reached with Kumar in 2017 selling him exclusive rights to make a movie titled ‘Slum Soccer’ on his life.
Barse, on whose life ‘Jhund’ is based, is the coach of Paul.
Kumar had approached a city court in 2020 alleging copyright violation by makers of ‘Jhund’. He had submitted that though director Nagraj Manjule and producers bought rights to make a movie on the life of Barse, ‘Jhund’ also showcases Paul’s story in a major role, thus allegedly violating the copyright.
He claimed he won the case in trial court, high court and also in the Supreme Court. Though this finally led to settlement agreement, he said the movie makers failed to ensure withdrawal of all cases, thus mentally torturing him.