‘Ghajini’ gets two courts’ nod for Thursday release (Roundup)

December 24th, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Aamir KhanChennai/Mumbai, Dec 24 (IANS) Aamir Khan-starrer “Ghajini”, Bollywood’s big-ticket release this season, will hit the screens Thursday, as scheduled, after two high courts cleared its release Wednesday.While Aamir Khan’s hair cut, eight-pack abs and promos have raised high expectations from “Ghajini”, the film has been embroiled in litigations since February.

The producers and distributors of the film heaved a sigh of relief as a Madras High Court division bench of Justices V. Dhanapalan and N. Satyanarayanan Wednesday evening allowed the release.

Justice P.R. Shivakumar of the same court had Tuesday stayed the Hindi film’s release after A. Chandrasekaran, the producer of the original Tamil film of the same name, filed a suit alleging that the producers of the Hindi remake had “fabricated documents to claim ownership over the remake rights”.

Earlier in the day, Justice S.B. Karnik of the Bombay High Court said the film can be released as scheduled but also asked director A.R. Murugadoss to file an affidavit Friday clearing his stand.

Mumbai firm KBC Pictures in its complaint said Murugadoss had signed an agreement with it in 2004 for re-making the hit Tamil film in Hindi. Thus, the company claimed, the Hindi film was in violation of their contract.

The director’s lawyer Venkatesh Dhond said: “The court has refused to stay the release of the film. The final hearing will be on Friday but for now the court has no objection to its release.”

“Ghajini”, a revenge saga, has Aamir Khan in the lead role and Asin plays his love interest. It was a hit in Tamil and Telugu versions.

Troubles for the Hindi version of “Ghajini” began in February when a criminal case of cheating was filed in a court in Salem, the hometown of the Tamil version’s producer Chandrasekaran.

Charges are to be framed against the Hindi version’s producers Allu Aravind, Madhu Mantena and two others on Dec 31, according to Chandrasekaran.

In April, a writ petition was filed in the Madras High Court and had dragged on till Tuesday.

Frenetic negotiations were on since Tuesday night between the two sides.

Earlier Wednesday, negotiations for a settlement between the producers of the Tamil and Hindi versions - Chandrasekaran and Geetha Arts respectively - had broken down.

“The other side refused to negotiate,” said A.R.L. Sundaresan, senior counsel who had appeared for the Chandrasekaran, told IANS.

Praveen Trikha, regional head (north) of Studio 18 that is distributing the film in India, had predicted to IANS Tuesday night in New Delhi, “The stay will be vacated by tomorrow (Wednesday).”

The general manager of a Chennai multiplex told IANS requesting anonymity that the entire filmdom was trying to get the two sides to sort out differences and allow the movie’s “peaceful release” because a failure to do so would result in “worldwide losses running into over Rs.2 billion”.

Film industry circles said that at least Rs.1.2 billion went into the making of the film.

Mumbai reports said earlier that Rs.140 million had been spent on the Hindi version’s publicity alone.

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