The Bombay high court has refused to interfere with the release of Telugu film, Sardar Gabbar Singh, and its dubbed Hindi version after Arbaaz Khan Production Private Ltd filed a suit for alleged infringement of copyright.
The producer of the 2010 movie, Dabangg, had sought a stay on the release of the movie, claiming that the protagonist Chulbul Pandey’s character had been represented in the Telugu film as Gabbar Singh, which is an infringement of copyright. Both versions of Sardar Gabbar Singh are scheduled for release on Friday.
Justice Gautam Patel, however, found ‘next to nothing’ to support the claim, and so refused to interfere with the scheduled release. The judge said actor Pawan Kalyan, who plays the role of Gabbar Singh, portrays a unique character meant for a different audience, conceived differently, but based on a storyline developed for Dabangg.
“I do not think that in the guise of copyright protection, courts should act as censors, no matter under what umbrella,” justice Patel said, adding, “I do not believe that a court is required to engage in fact gathering to supply deficiencies and lacunae in a plaintiff’s case.”
The judge also rejected Arbaaz Khan Production’s plea to either to allow them to watch the Hindi version of the Telugu film or the court should watch the movies – Dabangg 2 and Sardar Gabbar Singh - back to back to ascertain the similarities.
“I do not think it is possible in law for a plaintiff to improve his case by demanding that either it should be allowed to see a defendant’s copyright-protected work or even that the court should examine the two works to determine whether the plaintiff has made out a case,” the judge said.