HC permits OTT release of ‘Shamshera’

The Delhi High Court on Friday permitted the release of Ranbir Kapoor starrer ‘Shamshera’ on over-the-top (OTT) platforms on the condition that its producers, Yash Raj Films Private Limited, deposit ₹1 crore with the Registrar General of the court.

Justice Jyoti Singh gave the direction while hearing a suit by one Bikramjeet Singh Bhullar who claimed that the movie is based on his literary work ‘Kabu na chhadein khet’.

The court said it would be appropriate to permit Yash Raj Films Private Limited to release the film on OTT platforms “in order to balance the equities between the parties”. Th court took cognisance of the fact that the movie has already been released in theatres.

Mr. Bhullar had filed his suit before the theatrical release of the film on July 22 urging the court to restrain the producers from releasing the movie in theatres and on online platforms.

On July 26, the counsel appearing on behalf of the producers had assured the High Court that the movie would not be released on OTT platforms, till permission was granted by the court.

On August 18, the producers sought permission to release the film a day later, as failing to do so would mean breaching “contractual obligations” with third parties. The producers argued that not allowing the movie to be released on OTT platforms would cause “irreparable injury” to Yash Raj Films while Mr. Bhullar could always be compensated if he wins the copyright infringement case.

On the other hand, the counsel representing Mr. Bhullar opposed the release of the film arguing that the producers “made a substantial reproduction of his literary work”. The court will hear the case again on September 12.

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