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‘Enthiran’ Copyright Issue: HC Refuses To Clear Charges Against Shankar

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Director Shankar in Ai Movie Working Stills

The Madras High Court has refused to quash proceedings against director Shankar in the Enthiran copyright case. The court has, however, cleared the film’s producer, Sun Pictures’ Kalanidhi Maran, of all charges, stating that he has nothing to do with the story of the film.

Justice B Pugalendi of the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court passed the order yesterday, in response to a petition filed by Kalanidhi Maran and Shankar asking to be cleared of all charges. In the case filed by Tamil writer Aarur Tamilnadan 10 years ago, they were both accused under the Copyright Act and of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC.

The judge said, “So far as Kalanithi Maran is concerned, he is a mere producer and has nothing to do with the story and, hence, the criminal proceedings under the Copyright Act and the proceedings under IPC section 420 against him are quashed,” reports Business Standard. 

He further said that the story of Enthiran was very similar to Aarur’s short story ‘Jugiba’, and while it did not make for a case under section 420, the proceedings under Copyrights Act could go on.

The High Court has transferred the case to the Egmore Court for further proceedings.

When the Rajinikanth-starrer released in 2010, Tamilnadan approached the Egmore Court after the police allegedly did not file his complaint for a long time. He sought a compensation of Rs 1 crore, saying that the story of Enthiran was copied from his short story on a robot called Jugiba, first published in Tamil magazine Iniya Udayam in April 2007, and later written and published as a novel called Thik Thik Theepika. The story was registered under the Copyrights Act in 1997 itself.

In September 2018, Tamilnadan approached the Court once again asking for speedy redressal and said that the criminal suit had been pending for eight years. A week before this, the Madras High Court had asked Shankar to pay Rs 10,000 for not appearing in person before the Court. The case was further pushed for hearing.

Enthiran starred Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai and others, and released in 2010 in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. It was the most expensive Indian movie to be made at that point in time, with an estimated budget of Rs 160 crore. It opened big and earned close to Rs 290 crore.

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