A Supreme Court bench on Thursday has dismissed a plea from filmmaker-actor SJ Suryah to grant an injunction against the remake of the hit Tamil film Vaalee (1999), upholding the order of the Madras High Court.
The case was heard by Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna.
Vaalee, which starred Ajith Kumar in dual roles, also featured actors Simran and Jyothika in her Tamil debut. The film, which marks Suryah’s directorial debut, was a commercial success and went on to become a defining film in the careers of the director and actors involved. The film revolved around twin brothers, with one being the evil one. The film was produced by SS Chakravarthy.
In 2021, it was reported that producer Boney Kapoor had acquired the rights to remake the film in Hindi. Following this, Suryah approached the Madras High Court seeking the copyrights of the film, as he has written the story of the film. However, the court had declared that “merely because the producer gave credit to the author for screenplay or dialogue, it would not amount to an acknowledgment of the author’s copyright therein.” The court was also in view that the producer is the copyright owner of the film.
Subsequently, Suryah moved the Supreme Court against Vaalee’s producer, claiming his credits for having written the story, screenplay, and dialogues of the film. In its order, the Supreme Court upheld the high court’s ruling and refused to grant an injunction on the remake of Vaalee. The bench stated that Suryah’s counsel was “unable to convince” the court on why the injunction had to be granted. “We had gone through the impugned judgment and the order passed by the High Court. No interference of this Court is called for, insofar as refusing to grant the injunction is concerned,” the Supreme Court noted.
It was also reported that, even though it upheld the High Court’s order, if Suryah “succeeds in the suit and establishes his right”, he could claim relief.