The White Tiger Copyright Violation Case: Sonia Mudbhatkal and lawyer fail to appear for hearing
A day prior to the release of Priyanka Chopra, Rajkummar Rao and Adarsh Gourav starrer The White Tiger on a streaming platform, an urgent petition was filed by producer Sonia Mudbhatkal and others in the Delhi High Court. The producer had sought a stay on the film’s release alleging copyright violation. Producers Sonia Mudbhatkal and John Hart had claimed that they have the adaptation rights of Aravind Adiga’s novel of the same name.
The court had dismissed the petition and had refused to stay the film’s release following which the plaintiffs had requested another hearing today. However, Sonia and her lawyer failed to appear before the court.
In the last hearing that had urgently started at 7 pm a day before the film’s release (January 22), Justice C Harishankar had said that no prima facie material was shown to justify a last-minute grant of an injunction against the respondents.
The court in its order refusing to put a stay on the film’s release had stated, “There is no material on record to justify the plaintiffs approaching this court less than 24 hours prior to release seeking stay..It is settled … that any party approaching court at the end hour, seeking interlocutory indirection against the release of cinematographic film, is disentitled to any such relief.”
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Upset over perceiving the court lightly without having any substantial grounds to seek a stay on the release just a day before its release, the court also stated, “Don’t blame corona for everything. You are aware from 2019..for a half baked story, you want the court to give you an interim injunction? I am not convinced. There is absolutely nothing.”
Plaintiff’s advocate Kapil Sankhla had then requested the court to give them 24 hours to procure the documents. He had also sought protection for the time being. Refusing the request, Justice Hari Shankar had said, “I will not protect you for 24 minutes, forget about hours.” However, the court had granted another hearing for today ie February 11. But Sonia and her lawyers failed to turn up.
Previously, according to media reports, Sonia and John had approached the Enforcement Directorate and alleged that Mukul Deora (one of the producers of The White Tiger) has used a cheque which was from a now-defunct Swiss bank, BSI, for “suspicious transactions for the project.” Whereas Mukul had refuted all the allegations.