New Delhi, 24 July,2019: The Delhi High Court has held that Yash Raj Films’ 2010 movie ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ starring Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma was “blatantly copied” by the makers of Telugu film ‘Jabardasth’ and the copyright of the Bollywood flick was infringed.
The court decreed the suit in favour of Yash Raj Films and restrained the makers of the Telugu film from releasing the movie in any format, including DVDs, VCDs, Blu-ray discs and television.
“In the present case, this court is of the view that the defendants have blatantly copied the fundamental, essential and distinctive features as well as forms and expression of the plaintiff’s film on purpose and consequently, have infringed the plaintiff’s copyright in the film ‘Band Baja Baaraat’,” said Justice Manmohan.
The story line of Anushka and Ranveer’s Bollywood debut revolves around the hero and heroine starting their own wedding-planning company, falling in love and finally uniting after falling apart briefly.
The Telugu film was released in February 2013 across various screens in India, including Delhi, and in March 2013, the high court passed an interim order restraining its makers Sri Sai Ganesh Productions from releasing it in any format.
Yash Raj Films, in its suit, said that after its film’s release in September 2010, it decided in April 2011 to remake the movie in Tamil and Telugu languages.
However, at the end of 2011, it came to know that the defendants intended to remake the same film in Telugu.
Various legal notices were sent to the defendant, asking it to forthwith stop plans, if any, on the remake of any of the plaintiff’s films but no response was received. The Telugu film was eventually released in March 2013.
The counsel for the Telugu film makers submitted that this court did not have the territorial jurisdiction to deal with this matter as the movie was conceived, written and directed in Hyderabad and no part of its preparation including the post- production work had taken place in Delhi.
The court, however, said it has jurisdiction to decide this case as the Telugu film was released in Delhi too.
“This court is also of the opinion that the defendants have no real prospect of defending the claim as their defence had been struck off and they have not denied the documents of the plaintiff. In fact, the evidence of the plaintiff has gone unrebutted,” it said.