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Rajinikanth's film clears legal hurdle, set for release Rajinikanth's film clears legal hurdle, set for release

Dec-04-2014 | 0 Comments

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MADURAI: Super star Rajinikanth's new film 'Lingaa' cleared a legal hurdle on Wednesday, with the Madras high court dismissing a petition filed by a filmmaker who claimed ownership of its story.

Justice M Venugopal said the petitioner approached the court without even knowing or attempting to know the exact story line of 'Lingaa', on a mere guess and surmise, with an intention to gain undue publicity for himself and hold the filmmakers and stars to ransom.

Pointing out that the case involved questions of fact and rival claims, the judge said the court could not do investigation to ascertain veracity of claims under Article 22 of the Constitution which concerns jurisdiction of high courts.

In his petition, filmmaker Ravi Rathinam alleged the storyline of 'Lingaa' was same as that of his 2013 movie 'Mullai Vanam 999'. Justifying his claim, he said the entire story of his film was uploaded onto YouTube on February 24, 2013.

But rejecting his claims, the judge said statements uploaded in YouTube would not amount to publication. Appropriate remedy for Ravi Rathinam is to approach a civil court or avail himself of other remedies available under general law or criminal law, he said.

"The petitioner himself is not sure of his rights or what duty he seeks to enforce through a mandamus (court direction). It is a fit case to be dismissed in admission stage itself. The petitioner cannot claim copyright for an unpublished work, and statements in YouTube do not constitute publication of story," the judge said.

Also, the petition had been filed after inordinate and unexplainable delay, that too at the eleventh hour, he said. In their counter-affidavits, the film's director K S Ravikumar and screenplay writer S Ponkumaran had said the petitioner had not published his story anywhere till date and the statements on YouTube did not constitute publication of his story.

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