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Bombay HC Allows Edited Version of Telugu Film ‘V’ to Re-Release on Amazon Prime Video After Actor Files Defamation Case Against Makers

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Photo Source: (left) Sakshi Malik Instagram (Right) Telugu Film 'V' Official Poster

The Bombay High Court has allowed re-releasing of the edited version of the Telugu film V, starring Nani, on Amazon Prime Video on Thursday after actor Sakshi Malik filed a case against the film’s makers Venkateshwara Creations Pvt Ltd, Live Law reported.

Malik, who appeared in the Hindi film song Bom Diggy Diggy Bom (Sonu Ke Tittu Ki Sweety), accused the makers of of using her portfolio picture without her permission in a scene, referring to it as the picture of a female escort or a commercial sex worker. 

Malik filed a defamation suit seeking a permanent injunction. However, the court granted an ad-interim order restraining the streaming platform and the makers of the film from releasing or telecasting it on any platform until the deletion of the said scene.

According to the plea, Malik had commissioned a photographer in July 2017 through her Instagram handle for a photo portfolio as a part of her professional work. The portfolio photographs were shared with her through a Google link. She then posted them on her Instagram account in August 2017.

V starred NaniSudheer BabuNivetha Thomas and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead. The Telugu action-thriller film premiered on September 5, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video. Malik then filed the complaint as an “unauthorised invasion of privacy”.

The streaming platform had taken down the film within 24 hours as per the Bombay High Court’s order on Tuesday.

“The fact that the image has been illicitly used is bad enough. It only makes matters worse when used in a plainly derogatory and demeaning vein,” the court had remarked.

The court had ordered the streaming giant to discontinue the availability of the film, irrespective of language and sub-titles on its platform within 24 hours of the hearing until the makers of the film “completely deleted all images from their work”.

“It is not acceptable for them to merely pixelate or blur the images. The entire sequence which has the image of the plaintiff is to be removed immediately. If the first and second defendants wish to replace the deleted segments, they are free to do so but without using any of the plaintiff’s images in any shape, fashion or form without her express written consent,” the court said.

The court had initially restrained the streaming platform as well as the makers from releasing any re-edited version of the film without any specific order from the court.

Malik took to her Instagram account on Wednesday to thank her fans for their support and her lawyer Saveena T Bedi following the news. The story that expires in 24hrs read: “This news devastated me on 5th September’2020. The movie ‘V’ produced by Dil Raju and showcased on Amazon Prime portrayed me as a call girl in the film. The scene was added without my consent. Today, I heard the news that the High Court has ordered the defendants to delete the scene on immediate basis. Thank you all the fans for your support. Your constant messages inclined me to sue them no matter how hard it gets. Thank you @bedisaveena to make the journey smooth.”

The next hearing was supposed to take place on March 8. But the court ordered the streaming platform on Thursday to re-release the film on the OTT platform after it removed the said scenes within 24 hours.

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