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    Default Prakash Jha wins court case against the Birlas

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    There will be no stay-order against Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh. In the defamation case filed by the Birla group of industries in the Delhi High Court Jha has won, at least the first round.

    In the case ‘Basant Kumar Birla & Others Versus Prakash Jha & Others’, the aforesaid matter was heard in complete on 11 October by the Delhi High Court. The Honourable Court refused to pass an order of injunction while disposing of the application. However the Honourable Court has directed to show additional disclaimers when the song in question ‘Mehngai’ is played at the time of exhibition and inter alia held that this order shall not stand in the way of release of the film on 24 October 2012.

    Incidentally, after the legal notice from the Birla group of industries for a satirical mention of their name in a song about price rise and inflation, a writ petition has apparently been filed by the Bata group in the Delhi Hight Court against the same song Mehngaai.

    Jha was relieved by the Honourable Delhi High Court’s injunction. “I am being asked if this trouble over the song is publicity for my film Chakravyuh. What are people trying to insinuate? That I paid the industry houses to generate interest in my film? I don’t understand what this fuss is about. When the song has been cleared by the censorboard what is the relevance, need or even the validity of this extra-censorship? We live in a democracy where socio-political protest is a fundamental right. Instead of being so sensitive on a personal level just because a name is mentioned, how about showing some sensitivity towards the people from the underprivileged classes who feel the need to protest?”

    Jha says the song in his film is sung by Naxalites who have suffered “industrial exploitation” for decades.

    Jha defends the song heatedly. “The names of the industrial houses has been used symbolically. It’s like when someone wants to be a singer, you say, ‘Chali Lata Mangeshkar ban-ne.’ The names of the same industrial houses have been mentioned earlier in film songs. There was no hue and cry about it. Why get touchy about it now?”

    The director is right. A song written by lyricist Varma Malik in a 1978 film Heeralal Pannalal had the following lines: “Seedhe Raste Chaloge To Aisa Dhamaka Milega Jhopdi Mein Birla Aur Tata Milega Aur Bata Ki Dukaan Mein Bhi Aata Milega.”

    The director has no intentions of removing the number. “My legal department is looking into the matter. Let them sort it out. As far as I am concerned my song doesn’t attack any individual or industrial house. It attacks industrial exploitation


 

 

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