The Supreme Court on Friday relaxed the condition imposed by Kerala High Court that the Kannada movie ‘Kantara’ should not exhibit the ‘Varaharoopam’ song. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud granted relief to the makers of Kantara movie staying the bail condition imposed by High Court which had restrained the use of the song in the movie for the time being.
It also protected Vijay Kirgandur and Rishab Shetty, the producer and actor-director respectively and said they would not be arrested when they show up for questioning on February 12-13 in connection with a copyright infringement probe over the song. CJI said copyright issues cannot be decided in an anticipatory bail plea and said such conditions cannot be imposed to grant bail.
“Petitioner shall present before Investigating Officer on February 12-13. In the event he is arrested, he shall be released on bail forthwith subject to conditions on trial court. We issue stay on Condition 5,” the bench said. The High Court had granted anticipatory bail to Kirgandur and Shetty, the producer and director in the case under the Copyright Act 1956 over plagiarism allegations relating to the “Varaharoopam” song.
The petitioners were named as accused in a case registered in Kozhikode Town Police Station registered for offence punishable under Section 63 of the Copyright Act. The allegation was that the “Varaharoopam” song was an unauthorized copy of the “Navarasam” song which was exhibited on ‘KAPPA’ TV owned by Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Co Ltd and performed by Thaikkudam Bridge band.
The FIR was lodged on a complaint filed by Mathrubhumi and Thaikkudam Bridge. While granting anticipatory bail to Kiragandur and Shetty, the High Court had imposed a specific bail condition that “the petitioners shall not exhibit the film`Kantara’ along with the music `Varaharoopam’ in the film till an interim order or final order after addressing infringement of copyright in this matter will be passed by a competent civil court.”
Challenging the High Court’s order, they moved to the top court for relaxation of the conditions imposed.