The Bombay High Court on Thursday allowed filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie Rangoon to be released for public viewing as per schedule on Friday.
The court however, directed Bhardwaj and the producers of the film to deposit Rs2 crore with the high court by way of guarantee till the final disposal of the case.
Bhardwaj, and the producers of the Kangana Ranaut starrer were dragged to court earlier last week by Roy Wadia of the production firm Wadia Movietone Pvt. Ltd. Wadia had filed a commercial suit earlier last week against Bhardwaj and others, claiming, among other things, that Ranaut’s character in the film drew heavily from that of ‘Fearless Nadia’—the protagonist of its 1935 film ‘Hunterwali.’ He had sought damages and as interim relief, urged the court to stay the release of the film.
Justice KR Shriram, who had been hearing day-long arguments over the last three days, however, refused to issue such injunction on the film’s release and listed the plea for further hearing on its remaining issues.
On the previous hearings, Movietone’s counsel, senior advocate Navroz Seervai had argued that back in 2005-06, his client had discussed with UTV, which was in turn forwarded to Bahrdwaj, a script based on Nadia’s biography. Though the project fell through, Bhardwaj seems to have lifted material from that script.
Bhardwaj, through his counsel senior advocate Ravi Kadam, had rubbished all allegations of plagiarism and argued that even if one was to believe the allegations that Ranaut’s character in the film drew inspiration from that of ‘Fearless Nadia’s, the allegations of copyright violations can still not hold water, for Nadia was “a real person,” a “historical figure” who lived through real events and that there can’t be any “copyright claims to a historical event or person.”