Bombay HC Grants Relief to Bhansali Productions in Disputes Over Ram-Leela

On May 4th, 2020, the Bombay High Court granted relief to Sanjay Leela Bhansali of Bhansali productions. The Court directed Eros International Media Ltd to pay Rs.19.39 lakh in dues. Explicitly, over a dispute regarding rights of the movie Goliyo Ki Rasleela Ram Leela which Sanjay Leela Bhansali co-produced. Justice BP Colabawalla heard the petition via video conferencing.

The petition filed under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. It sought urgent ad-interim reliefs forbidding Eros International Media from selling, exploiting, assigning, licensing, distributing, or renewing rights of the film. Earlier Eros announced a merger with STX films. Advocate Andhyarujina acknowledged the merger between Eros and STX based on misleading disclosure; regarding rights over the said film which was released seven years ago. Sanjay Leela Bhansali wrote, directed, and co-produced the movie.

However, Justice Colabawalla noted that the dispute between the parties arose as far back as on October 26, 2018. Earlier, a notice also issued by the advocates of the petitioner to respondent No.1; as early as on October 16, 2019. Consequently, the court concluded a detailed hearing be held after considering the law on the subject as to whether reliefs can be granted under Section 9. Meanwhile, the court directed the respondent to pay  Rs.19,39,241/to the petitioner in 3 weeks and file the affidavit -in-reply ‘if they so desire’ within four weeks.

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