Chennai

HC refuses to restrain Shankar from directing other movies without completing Indian 2

The Madras High Court on Friday rejected a plea by Lyca Productions to restrain film director S. Shankar from making any other movie without completing the Kamal Haasan-starrer Indian 2.

Justice N. Sathish Kumar also refused to direct Mr. Shankar to furnish security for ₹170.23 crore, the amount Lyca Productions had reportedly spent so far on making Indian 2, if he wanted to direct two movies in parallel.

The judge agreed with senior counsel P.S. Raman, representing the director, that Lyca Productions had not made out a prima facie case to grant an injunction restraining him from working on other movies till Indian 2 is completed. However, the firm could file a civil suit for damages against the director if it could prove that he was the reason for the delay in completing Indian 2, he added.

Earlier, it was brought to the notice of the court that Indian 2 was supposed to be made on a budget of ₹270 crore. It was brought down to ₹250 crore at the request of the producer, and further to ₹236 crore, of which ₹36 crore was supposed to be the director's remuneration.

Apart from this, the director was also entitled to one-third of the net profit to be made by the movie after its release. Claiming that it had already paid over ₹14 crore to the director, Lyca insisted that he must not work in any other movie without completing Indian 2.

However, the judge pointed out that the director, being a creative person, would not be able to complete the movie unless the production firm fulfills all its obligations under a written agreement signed by them in 2019.

He stated that several communications produced before the court only show that the production firm had not paid the remuneration to co-actors, stunt artists and others involved in the movie.

Justice Kumar also observed that Lyca did not take any steps to resolve the dispute with the director through arbitration and that only after such lapse was highlighted by the court, Justice R. Banumathi, former Supreme Court judge, got appointed as an arbitrator.

Further, referring to efforts taken by Lyca to obtain an injunction from a Division Bench of the High Court and also a suit filed by it before a city civil court in Hyderabad to restrain Mr. Shankar from making a movie with Telugu actor Ram Charan, the judge said such conduct of forum shopping could not be ignored.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 4:50:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hc-refuses-to-restrain-shankar-from-directing-other-movies-without-completing-indian-2/article35110941.ece

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