Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16, (BPNS)
An FIR (First Information Report) registered against actor Prithviraj Sukumaran was stayed by the Kerala High Court on Thursday. The FIR was registered concerning a complaint filed by Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Co. Limited in connection with the alleged copyright infringement of the song ‘Varaharoopam’ from the Kannada movie ‘Kantara’.
Granting an interim stay till February 22, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that Prithviraj was just a distributor of the movie and the actor was unnecessarily being dragged into it.
“Prima facie, I am satisfied that the petitioner as a distributor of a movie cannot be charged with infringement of a copyright merely for distributing a movie in one of the states in the country,” said Justice Bechu.
The court’s observation came while considering a petition filed by the actor for quashing the FIR registered against him at the Kozhikode Town Police Station.
The actor has been booked under Section 63 of the Copyright Act which criminalizes copyright infringement.
The complaint that forms the base for the FIR is the allegation that the song ‘Varaharoopam’ from the movie ‘Kantara’ has been plagiarised from the song ‘Navarasam’ performed by the band Thaikkudam Bridge in Kappa TV owned by Mathrubhumi.
A case was registered against the actor because he is the director of the company Prithviraj Productions Private Limited, which is the distributor of the movie Kantara.
At the same time, the counsel for the actor contended that Prithviraj had merely facilitated the distribution of the film in Kerala and was not involved in the production of the film or the making of its music in any capacity.
Earlier, the court had granted bail to both Kantara’s producer and director, Vijay Kirgandur and Rishab Shetty respectively, upon a specific condition that they will not exhibit the film along with the music Varaharoopam. But later the Supreme Court stayed the bail condition that the song shouldn’t be used.