Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Didda Copyright Row- "Historical Work And Historical Facts Can Never Be Copyrighted: Kangana Raut Moves Bombay HC To Quash FIR

Sharmeen Hakim
25 Jun 2021 4:33 PM GMT
Didda Copyright Row- Historical Work And Historical Facts Can Never Be Copyrighted: Kangana Raut Moves Bombay HC  To Quash FIR
x

Actor Kangana Ranaut and her brother have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court to quash the FIR against them in the Didda copyright row on author Ashish Kaul's private complaint. Kaul is a former Zee Network executive and the author of the book Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir. In the petition filed under Article 226, 227 of the Constitution and 482 of the CrPC, Ranaut...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
10% discount
999
899+GST
(150 INR per month)
(For 6 Months)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?
Your free access to Live Law has expired
To read the article, get a premium account.
    Your Subscription Supports Independent Journalism
Subscription starts from
1,499+GST
(For 1 Year)
Premium account gives you:
  • Ad Free Content
  • Special And Exclusive Stories First Available To Subscribers only
  • Copy Of Judgments/ Orders With Every Reports
  • Copy Of Petitions (Subject to Consent From Concerned Lawyers)
  • Weekly Round Ups Of Supreme Court High Court Judgments/Orders
  • Monthly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Yearly Digests Of Supreme Court And High Courts
  • Live Updates Of Supreme Court And High Courts Hearings
  • WhatsApp Updates
  • News Letters
Already a subscriber?

Actor Kangana Ranaut and her brother have filed a petition in the Bombay High Court to quash the FIR against them in the Didda copyright row on author Ashish Kaul's private complaint.

Kaul is a former Zee Network executive and the author of the book Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir.

In the petition filed under Article 226, 227 of the Constitution and 482 of the CrPC, Ranaut alleged she and the three others have been maliciously dragged in criminal proceedings by Kaul based on conjectures as no crime has been committed.

She has further accused Kaul of "personal vengeance" and promoting his book by creating a controversy around it.

The Case

The Mumbai Police registered the FIR on March 12, 2021 against Ranaut, her siblings Rangoli Chandel and Akshat Ranaut, and producer Kamal Kumar Jain under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 120B (criminal conspiracy) & 34(common intention) of the IPC and sections 51 (copyright infringement) of the Copyright Act, punishable under sections 63 & 63A.

The FIR was registered at the Khar Police Station, following an order of the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Bandra on March 9, 2021, under section 156(3) of the CrPC.

Kaul alleged he had approached Kangana to write the foreword for the Hindi version of his novel on Didda. However, Kangana later announced that she would be making a sequel to the 2019 film, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, and the new film would be titled Manikarnika: The Legend of Didda.

In a hearing before Justices SS Shinde and GA Sanap on Friday, Ranaut's lawyer, said that there has to be some comparable work for copyright infringement, whereas there is no work in this case.

"I have only made an announcement I will be making a film on a historical figure. And only by virtue of having made an announcement the FIR is filed," he said.

He further said that historical work and historical facts could never be copyrighted. Kangana made the announcement based on research and material available on queen Didda in public domain, he claimed.

After briefly hearing the plea, the bench said they would issue notice to the respondents and adjourned the matter for June 30. Advocates Yogita Joshi and Amani Khan waived notice for Kaul.

As Kangana is also seeking the court's permission to renew her passport, alleging that the authorities have orally raised an objection owing to the FIRs against her, the bench permitted her lawyer to approach the court for an urgent hearing Monday.

Petition

In her plea, Kangana said the actual commission of a cognisable offence is an essential ingredient for lodging a criminal complaint... "However, the same was missing for obvious reasons as Kaul was malafidely and mischievously (by hook or by crook) only seeking to promote his book by creating a controversy in the name(of the book) and at the risk and cost of the petitioners."

She relied on the apex court's judgement of RG Anand vs Delux Films and others, where the court held that there can be no copyright in an idea, plots or historical or legendary facts and violation of the copyright in such cases is confined to the manner, arrangement and expression of the concept by the author.

"The respondent 2 has not made out any case... by firstly proving how he became entitled to claim exclusive rights on Historical work, fact and events thereby leading the magistrate to assume he is the copyright owner of such work and on the basis of such assumptions set the criminal law in motion against the petitioners through the magistrate," the plea alleged.

Assailing the Magistrate's order, along with the FIR, Ranaut said it was passed without application of mind to the sections invoked and without verifying the evidence.

She claimed that the police's notice u/s 41a should also be quashed and has sought a stay on the investigation in the meantime.

Background

Ashish Kaul is the former Group Executive Vice President of Zee Network. He claimed he is the sole copyright owner of the unique story and the biopic of Didda who was the Princess of Lohar (Poonch), now in Jammu & Kashmir, 'The Cleopatra of Kashmir' who ruled for over five decades, directly and indirectly during the 10th and 11th centuries.

Kaul's work also includes a film Streedesh - The forgotten women of Kashmir that includes Queen Didda and was premiered by Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts



Next Story
Share it