The Bombay high court, on Friday, directed the makers of Shahrukh Khan's upcoming superhero film Ra.One to deposit Rs 1 crore with the court by Saturday, in connection with a copyright violation suit.
Writer-producer Yash Patnaik had sought an injunction against the release of the film claiming that he held the copyright to its concept and content. On Friday, a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi asked the defendants —Khan's production house Red Chillies Entertainment and Eros Entertainment — to deposit the amount, observing that prima facie, there seemed to be a copyright violation. The court will hear the case in November. However, if the defendants fail to deposit the money on Saturday, an injunction against the movie's October 26 release would become operational.
The judges remarked that it was most unfortunate that a part of the film industry uses others' concepts, but refuses to pay or give credit. Patnaik had sought a stay on the film's release until he was given credit for the concept of the futuristic superhero that Khan plays in Ra.One. He also sought 10% of the profits, in case he was not given credit. Appearing for Patnaik, senior counsel Ravi Kadam contended that the superhero character resembled the one in Patnaik's concept drawn out in 2006. The antagonist in Patnaik's script was called 'One', a term used in the movie's title, Kadam pointed out.
Khan's counsel Virendra Tulzapurkar countered that Khan's script was totally different. “Patnaik cannot claim copyright as he had developed his concept with a team of experts he had engaged,” Tulzapurkar argued. Distributor Eros Entertainment's lawyer advocate Janak Dwarkadas said that Eros had acquired world distribution rights at Rs150 crore and started transporting prints to theatres. No stay should be granted at the last moment, he said.