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Bombay HC refuses to stay Ajay Devgn’s Thank God ahead of release

The Bombay High Court declined to block the distribution of the Ajay Devgan, Sidharth Malhotra, and Rakul Preet-starring Hindi movie “Thank God.” 

Single-judge Justice RI Chagla noted that the film is due to be released on October 25 but the application for urgent relief was filed only on October 18 even though the release date of the film was announced on September 9. 

“The applicant is seeking urgent ad-interim relief though knowing full well that film is already at the post production stage and/or the release of the film had been notified on September 9, 2022. Thus, at this stage it will not be possible to consider the application for ad-interim relief, particularly, considering that the defendants have sought time to file their replies and have disputed the claim of applicant,” the judge reasoned.

A lawsuit involving contractual disagreements between the two film producers was being heard by the court. 

Azure Entertainment Pvt Limited, the plaintiff, has acquired the only rights to make a Hindi-language movie based on a Danish movie. In order to co-produce the movie, which was being directed by Indra Kumar, a partner of Maruti Enterprises, Azure was approached after acquiring the sole and exclusive remake rights. 

The two companies then signed a contract promising to split profits in a 1:2 ratio.

The two parties then signed a contract with Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Ltd (T-Series) company and jointly assigned T-series with 100% of the exploitation rights and 50% of the film’s intellectual property. 

Azure thereafter agreed to give up its royalty rights for ₹32 lakh and contingent royalties in exchange for ₹4.50 crores. Following this, Azure consented to stop working on the movie and forego any further compensation.

The lawsuit claimed that T-Series and Maruti had violated the agreement in material ways. The flaws were that viewers of the movie’s trailers believed that Maruti and Azure had not been involved in Maruti’s direct engagement of the laboratory, which serves as the story’s repository. 

The violations had been of such a degree that Azure had been forced to renounce several picture rights without receiving any compensation. 

The plaintiff argued that “the defendants have conspired with a manifest intention to deny the plaintiff its entitlements to the producer’s fee payable under the signed contract.”

Azure was also displeased that the defendants had not yet paid the agreed-upon sums of 4.50 crores toward the film’s production and 50 lakh towards Azure’s contingent share, even though the movie had already entered post-production. 

This was a crucial requirement of the contract that had been broken. 

On October 18, Azure filed a motion with the High Court asking for immediate remedy; however, on October 20, the Court rejected Azure’s request.

The matter was scheduled for hearing on November 22 by the Court, who nonetheless ordered the respondents to submit their reply to the application. 

Attorneys MDP & Partners briefed, including Ashish Kamat, Anand Mohan, Nishit Dhruva, Lavin Hirani, Khushbu Chajjed, Shahbaz Malbari, and Varun Gopala Krishnan, appeared on behalf of Azure. 

Maruti was represented by Senior Attorney Sharan Jagtiani, Attorneys Hiren Kamod, Ankoosh K. Mehta, and Attorney Sarah Navodia, all of whom were briefed by Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. 

T-Series was represented by attorneys Rashmin Khandekar and Megha Chandra, who were advised by AB Legal.

Legalobserver Desk
Legalobserver Desk


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