Court refuses to order lodging of FIR against Madhur Bhandarkar

Updated: Jun 27, 2012, 18:48 PM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi Court today refused to order lodging of an FIR against Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar and two others for allegedly "stealing" the "plot and idea" for his movie `Fashion` from a book without giving credit to the author.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Sharma dismissed actress-turned-author Seema Seth`s plea for lodging the FIR against Bhandarkar, Ronnie Screwala and Ajay Mongia, saying "there cannot be a copyright in an idea or a plot".

"There cannot be a copyright in an idea or plot, subject matter, themes or legendary facts. Therefore, no direction is given for registration of the FIR.

"In such cases, violation of copyright must be proved by a clear evidence. So, a prima facie case is not made out against them (Bhandarkar, Screwala and Mongia)," the court said.

While dismissing the plea for lodging of the FIR, the court, however, decided to hear Seth on the issue of copy right violation by Bhandarkar and others, fixed August 8 for it and asked her to produce more evidence to substantiate her charges on the issue.

"Bring more evidence before the court so that it can cross check the plot, idea and sequence of the movie before coming to the conclusion of the case," the court said.

Seth, in her plea, had contended Bhandarkar indulged in "clear-cut violation of the Copyright Act". She has also made Ronnie Screwala of UTV Motion Pictures a party in the case and has sought Rs 2.5 crore as compensation.

Ronnie Screwala is the producer of movie `Fashion` and Ajay Mongia the writer.

Seeking a direction for lodging of an FIR against Bhandarkar and others under "appropriate" section of the IPC and for violation of Copyright Act, Seth had sought expeditious hearing of her case.
Seth had earlier told the court that after she had sent legal notices to Bhandarkar and others, she has been "continuously harassed" by some persons.

She was "threatened with dire consequences" and the local police was also not helping her, she had told the court.

"On the contrary, they harassed me more while refusing to register the FIR," she had said.

Seth, who argued her case in person, said lawyers engaged were "tutored and threatened" to leave her case.

PTI