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Dharma Productions Served With Summon Notice Over Royalty Plea in ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’

Source: Silverscreen India Media Library

Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions was issued a summon notice by the Delhi High Court on Monday over a royalty plea against a ‘performance’ in the Hindi film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, reported Live Law.

The complaint was filed by the India Singers’ Rights Association (ISRA).

The court had adjourned the hearing until March 12, 2021 and noted that the singers’ rights to the royalty amount “is a serious triable issue”.

The ISRA approached the high court alleging copyright infringement against Johar for the performances of songs including Ae ji o ji from the film Ram Lakhan, Choli ke peeche kya hai from Khalnayak and Saajan ji ghar aaye from his own film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in the Netflix film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, which released earlier this year.

In their petition, ISRA claimed that the filmmakers had commercially used the three performances of its singer members which were originally part of earlier films by other filmmakers.

The association’s plea sought that Dharma Productions was “bound’ to pay the said amount before the court.

The court mentioned in the Monday hearing that “while the definition of ‘performer’ in Section 2 (qq) of the Copyright Act, 1957 includes within its sweep a singer, section 2(q) defines ‘performance’, in relation to performer’s right, to mean any visual or acoustic presentation made live by one or more performers. Every performance has to be live in the first instance whether it is before an audience or in a studio. If this performance is recorded and thereafter exploited without the permission of the performer then the performer’s right is infringed. So, as regards performers’ right’s the plaintiff definitely has a serious triable case…..”

This is not the first time that Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl has faced controversy.

Soon after the release of the film in August, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had written to the Central Board of Film Certification and Dharma Productions opposing the “misrepresentation” of gender bias in the force. Some veterans, a former colleague and retired officers had objected to the alleged portrayal of the work culture of the IAF in the film, according to a report by The Indian Express

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