Ludhiana court vacates stay on Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila biopic : The Tribune India

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Ludhiana court vacates stay on Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila biopic

Makers of film told to render complete account of money earned from film before court

Ludhiana court vacates stay on Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila biopic

Amar Singh Chamkila and Amarjot Kaur. Photo: The Tribune archives



Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 10

The Court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Sumit Makkar has vacated the stay granted earlier against the Reliance Entertainment, producer Imitiaz Ali, actor Daljit Dosanjh, actress Parineeti Chopra and Gurmail Kaur, wife of deceased Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila, from broadcasting, releasing, uploading, streaming the biopic (film) on Amar Singh Chamkila and Bibi Amarjot Kaur in any manner.

The order has paved the way for the release of the film, which was most likely to be released on an OTT platform. Earlier, the court has granted stay, while hearing a petition moved by Ishjeet Randhawa and Sanjot Randhawa, sons of deceased producer Gurdev Singh Randhawa, on March 22.

Dismissing the stay application, the court held, “Needless to add that after the death of Amar Singh Chamkila and Bibi Amarjot Kaur, events of their life, their likeness and circumstances leading to their death fell in public domain through widespread media coverage. Thereafter all those events could become source of inspiration of any artist in creating fictional work. Furthermore, right to publicity which essentially stems out from right to privacy also culminated with the death of aforesaid Punjabi folk singers,” observed court.

The court also observed that it would be difficult to compensate respondents in the event applicants ultimately do not succeed in their suit. However, the court directed the makers of biopic to render complete and true account of the revenue earned from the film by way of sale/licensing of all the rights relating to the film so that if after the trial it stands established that the applicants were having right and need arises for awarding any damages to them.  

The Reliance Entertainment has strongly resisted the claim. It was pleaded by them that the case was not maintainable before Civil Court. It was exclusively triable by Commercial Court. Moreover, it was pleaded that as per the case of the petitioners they entered into agreement with wife of singer Amar Singh Chamkila only. Whereas, the singer was having two daughters. Despite being the valid legal heirs their consent was not taken. Apart from this the petitioner did not took the consent of son of Amarjot Kaur. So, the alleged agreement itself was not valid.

Singer’s wife Gurmail Kaur had pleaded that the so called agreement was result of fraud. So, the same was not enforceable.

In the petition, it was pleaded that the widow of Amar Singh Chamkila has given rights of making biopic of her husband to their father on October 12, 2012 in writing. She also received an amount of Rs 5 lakh for said purpose and undertook to remain bound by aforesaid agreement/writing. No time limit was fixed to make the biopic.

It was further averred that on November 3, 2022 their father expired. When the petitioner started making arrangement for making the aforesaid biopic and contacted Gurmail Kaur, she started prolonging the matter on one pretext or other. Later they came to know that defendants in connivance with each other were already making a film on the biography of Amar Singh Chamkila & Bibi Amarjot Kaur.

After dismissing the stay application the case was adjourned for July 7, 2023 for evidence of the petitioners.


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