Production House Lyca indulging in 'forum shopping,' says HC

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Chennai, Jul 3 (PTI) The Madras High Court on Saturday said Lyca Productions, the makers of Indian-2, starring actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan, indulged in 'forum shopping' by seeking remedy from multiple courts.

Dismissing applications from Lyca seeking to restrain director S Shankar from taking up any other project before completing the film Indian-2 and for a direction to him to furnish a security to the tune of Rs.170 crore in its favour Justice N Sathish Kumar referred to 'forum shopping.' The judge noted that when the matter came up for admission on the very first occasion, he had ordered notice to the defendants.

As the court did not grant any interim relief, Lyca moved the first bench of the High Court, where also it could not get any order.

For the similar relief, including other parties, the applicant had filed a suit before the City Civil Court in Hyderabad.

'The above conduct of applicant (Lyca) choosing forum shopping is also cannot be ignored. At any event, on discussion of the entire facts, in a given case this Court is of the view that the applicant has not made out any prima facie case for grant of interim orders,' the judge said.

The judge also noted that though the dispute arose in October 2020, till now Lyca had not taken any steps to invoke the arbitration clause.

Only during arguments when the court pointed out the same, it hurriedly filed an application and Justice R Banumathi, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, was appointed as the Arbitrator on June 30.

The applicant has not shown manifest intention to invoke arbitration quickly to resolve the dispute and there were severe allegations made against each other.

Also, when there is no contract restraining Shankar from doing his regular business, the interim injunction sought by Lyca, if allowed will amount to restraining the film director from doing his own trade which is against the Contract Act, the judge said and dismissed the applications. PTI COR VGN BN BALA BN BALA

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