The Delhi High Court on Monday told media content house Shemaroo Entertainment it cannot distribute, sell or broadcast through any platform the famous 1966 Hindi film ‘Teesri Kasam’, starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman. The restriction has been imposed on the basis of a licence from a person who had a “miniscule” share in the copyright of the movie.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw was of the view a permanent injunction has to be issued restraining the company from exploiting the rights in the film while hearing a plea by the son and daughter of the movie’s producer, Shankardas Kesarilal Shailendra, a reputed lyricist known for famous songs like ‘Awaara Hoon’, ‘Mera Joota Hai Japani’ and ‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil’.
The observation came after three other heirs of the producer, who had only one-sixth share each in the copyright of the film and had assigned their rights to the company in 2004, appeared before the court and said that Shemaroo was informed right from the start they only had one-sixth of the rights.
Shemaroo, on the other hand, contended that as per the agreement it had entered into in 2004 it was told that it was being assigned the entire rights in the film and not just a portion.
It also argued, through advocate Abhishek Malhotra, that its agreement ends in 2019 and if it was stopped from exploiting the rights, the heirs would not get any royalty from the film.
It said it will render accounts of royalties earned and disbursed in the past 12 years and the heirs can decide amongst themselves about their shares.
Shemaroo also said that the Copyright Board was the appropriate forum to decide the issue.
The lawyers for plaintiffs, Dinesh Kumar Shailendra and Amla Shailendra Mazumdar, said the board was not sitting and thus they had to approach the high court.
The court in an interim order of December 2016 had restrained Shemaroo and its Joint Managing Director Atul Maru from distributing, selling or broadcasting through any platform the film.