HC clears the decks for 'Panipat' release on Dec 6

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday cleared the decks for the release of Ashutosh Gowarikar's Panipat film, as per its original schedule, which is on December 6. The HC refused to stay the release of the film, as sought by a Marathi novelist, who claimed that the film-maker has picked up a major part of his book Panipat, published in 1988.

A single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Gupte refused to grant any form of interim relief, prayed by novelist Vishwas Patil, who has filed a copyright infringement suit against Gowarikar.

According to Patil, the film-maker Gowarikar has stolen several parts of his book and has adapted the same for his film starring Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Sanjay Dutt and several others.

Patil has claimed that even as details and information pertaining to the historic battle are in public domain but several ideas and concepts related to the battle, which he penned down in his book, were lifted by Gowarikar. For instance, according to Patil, he was the 'sole person' to portray Parvati Bai, the second wife of Sadashivrao Bhau, being a warrior. He claims that the majority of the books showed her as a 'feeble' woman.

Accordingly, Patil sought a stay on the film's release. He had also sought a private screening of the film for him.

Having considered his petition, the bench opined that there was no 'prima facie' case of any sort of infringement by Gowarikar.

“It would be incorrect to claim copyright on historic events like the battle of Panipat,” said Justice Gupte.

“There is no prima facie case even in the first blush. Thus, there is no need to stay the film's release,” the court said while adjourning the matter for further hearing after six weeks.

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