The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the producer of the Tamil film Vana Yudham, based on the life of slain forest brigand Veerappan, to pay Rs. 25 lakh to Veerappan’s widow V. Muthulakshmi to arrive at a compromise to facilitate the release of the film later in the day.
After the settlement, the film was released during the course of the day.
A Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and S.J. Mukhopadaya effected the compromise between counsel Sanjay Hegde (for Muthulakshmi) and K.K. Mani (for the producer), who informed the court that the matter had been amicably settled. The Bench said the producer would pay Rs. 25 lakh to Ms. Muthulakshmi and accordingly disposed of the special leave petition filed by her.
In her appeal the appellant Muthulakshmi, said the High Court had wrongly allowed the respondents to screen the film by deleting four out of 32 scenes she had objected to. If the movie was allowed to be released, it would create a wrong impression about Veerappan and affect his reputation. Counsel K.K. Mani, appearing for the producer, said all the objectionable scenes, running to seven minutes, had been deleted. The film was based on materials in the public domain.
The Bench, however, suggested to counsel to go in for a compromise. Initially Ms. Muthulakshmi sought a direction to restrain the respondents from exhibiting, releasing or exploiting the film ‘Vana Yudham’ in Tamil and ‘Attakasa’ in Kannada or in any other name in any other language. She said Veerappan was killed in an alleged encounter with the STF on October 19, 2004. The respondents without seeking her permission or that of her daughters proceeded to make the movie. It was totally objectionable .