Lock Upp faces legal trouble as Hyderabad court issues interim stay, new promo says 'coming soon' instead of Feb 27

Published on Feb 26, 2022 02:54 PM IST
  • A copyright infringement case was filed against Ekta Kapoor, Alt Balaji, Balaji Telefilms, Endemol Shine and MX Player. The court has now issued ad-interim stay order for Kangana Ranaut's show Lock Upp.
Kangana Ranaut and producer-director Ekta Kapoor during the launch of their reality show Lock Upp in New Delhi.(Amlan Paliwal)
Kangana Ranaut and producer-director Ekta Kapoor during the launch of their reality show Lock Upp in New Delhi.(Amlan Paliwal)

Just days ahead of the premiere for Kangana Ranaut's digital debut, her Lock Upp is faced with legal trouble. A case of copyright infringement was earlier filed and a Hyderabad civil Court has now issued ad-interim injunction against the producers of Lock Upp. Alt Balaji and Balaji Telefilms have been named in the case. Ekta Kapoor has also been separately named in the case, along with Karan Medi's MX Player and Endemol Shine. (Also read: Lock Upp: Kaaranvir Bohra is 5th inmate, accused of stealing limelight)

In the order dated February 23, the City Civil Court, Hyderabad said, “Issue ad interim injunction against the respondents/defendants, their men and agents or any other person working on their behalf, from releasing, exhibiting, publishing the series in the name of Lock Upp or in any other name by the defendants in theaters, OTT platforms, you tube, any electronic media, and social media, etc.” The next hearing in the matter will be held on March 9.

Sanober Baig, who has filed the case, claimed that he registered the idea of a reality show with the Screen Writers' Association in 2018 and was even working on the concept along with director Shantanu Re. The show was to be called The Jail. He also said that Endemol's Chief Executive Officer, Abhishek Rage, has been in touch with Sanober and they had discussed the idea for the show earlier and he even promised to work on it after the pandemic was over. The Hyderabad-based businessman added that he also pitched the show's idea to Star Plus but things did not materialise.

Speaking with Hindustan Times, Sanober confirmed that the notices were served, in person. “I am not looking for fame or money. My whole team - the writer, scriptwriter, director, everyone - worked on the concept for at least eight months.” He added that it is not acceptable that someone else goes ahead with the idea, without "our approval". 

Asked if he sought credit for his idea, compensation, or participation, Sanober said, “I would like to leave that for the court to decide. When I had the discussion in 2020, Endemol had assured me that we would do this as a joint concept. Then, he (Enddemol CEO Abhishek)decided to share this with Alt Balaji and they have collaborated and are now doing this show. It is kind of backstabbing to me.”

In his plea, Sanober specified that his concept for the show also had a jailor, contestants were supposed to be in costumes (just as we seen in the promos for Lock Upp). It was supposed to feature 22 celebrities who would all be prisoners with one jailor, one assistant jailor, six guards (three males and three females), and will be locked up in one jail for 100 days.

Producers of the show are yet to respond to the stay order, but the latest promo for the show does not mention a date for the show's premiere. Kangana Ranaut is set to play the host for the show that will mark her digital debut. Nisha Rawal, Babita Phogat, Poonam Pandey, Karanvir Bohra, and Munawar Faruqui have been confirmed as participants for the show that was originally supposed to begin airing from February 27.

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