Aamir Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures will have to face the proceedings initiated by the Competition Commission of India for refusing to give their films to multiplex owners as the Bombay High Court has dismissed their petitions.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari, on Wednesday, refused to take sides on the controversy involving 28 Hindi film production houses and multiplex owners following a row over revenue-sharing formula.
The commission had directed its director general to probe into the allegations made by multiplex owners that production houses were trying to corner them.
Earlier this year, the commission had issued show-cause notices to the production houses after the director general submitted a report concluding that they had formed a cartel to sideline multiplex owners.
Aamir Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures had challenged the notices in the HC. They contended the commission had no jurisdiction to try the complaint lodged by the All India Multiplex Owners Association because the subject matter was a copyrighted product.
Their lawyer, Janak Dwarkadas, argued the commission cannot only the Copyright Board can decide on granting compulsory licence with respect to copyrighted products.
Additional Solicitor General Dariyas Khambatta pointed out exceptions in the Competition Commission Act, 2008, which empower the commission to decide on issued copyrighted products.
The high court gave the commission discretion to decide its own jurisdiction along with the allegations of the production houses forming a cartel.