The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said that both petitions filed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions seeking directions for restraining Eros International Media from selling or exploiting rights of two movies, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram Leela and Bajirao Mastani, will now be heard together on June 30.
Justice BP Colabawalla via video conferencing heard the petitions filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 seeking urgent ad-interim reliefs restraining Eros International Media, the parent company Eros International PLC and STX Film from selling, exploiting, assigning, licensing, distributing or renewing rights of Bajirao Mastani. Bhansali has directed and co-produced both the movies.
Senior Advocate Zal Adhyarujina appeared on behalf of the petitioner Bhansali Productions and submitted that on April 18, 2020 his clients came across an Intimation filed by Eros International Media Limited with the Bombay Stock Exchange wherein it stated that its ultimate Parent Company, Eros International Plc and STX Filmworks, Inc. have entered into a definitive stock-for-stock merger agreement, pursuant to which STX Entertainment will merge with a newly formed subsidiary of Eros International Plc and will survive such merger as an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Eros International Plc.
The merger is being entered into on the incorrect and misleading disclosure that Eros International PLC has some rights to the movie 'Bajirao Mastani'. In fact, neither Eros International PLC nor STX Filmworks, INC are parties to the co-production agreement between Bhansali Productions and Eros International Media Limited, they cannot claim any rights in the film, Adhyarujina said.
Advocate Akshay Patil appeared on behalf of the respondent Eros International Media.
Last month, after Bhansali had moved Court seeking same ad-interim reliefs restraining Eros International Media, the parent company Eros International PLC and STX Film from selling, exploiting, assigning, licensing, distributing or renewing rights of the film "Goliyo Ki Raas Leela Ram Leela".
After hearing submissions of both parties, Court had observed-
"Prima facie I find that an amount of Rs.19,39,241/- is payable by respondent No.1 to the petitioner. At this stage, I do not find that this money should be withheld by respondent No.1."
Justice Colabawalla had granted three weeks time to the respondents to pay the said amount.
On Tuesday, after hearing submissions of both parties, Court adjourned the matter and the next date of hearing is June 30.