The Kerala High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Jinu V Abraham, the screenwriter of the upcoming Malayalam film Kaduva, based on a writ petition filed by Anurag Augustus, who sought the cancellation of Jinu’s copyright on the film’s script, Augustus’s counsel Santhosh Mathew told Silverscreen India.
Kaduva stars Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead role. The film is written by Jinu and directed by Shaji Kailas. The film is produced by Prithiviraj’s home banner Prithviraj Productions and Listin Stephen for Magic Frames Company.
The film has been courting controversy since 2020. Recently, Anurag had moved the Kerala High Court alleging that Jinu had been on a personal service contract while he wrote the film’s script. Anurag said that he was the first owner of the script’s copyright and pleaded to rescind the registration, which provided Jinu with the ownership of the script.
The case was being heard by a bench headed by Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas.
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According to a report by Live Law, Santhosh stated that Jinu and his cousin Mathew Thomas, the film’s associate director, had contacted Anurag seeking financial support to make a film with a story that revolves around the life of a planter named Kaduvakunnel Kuruvachan, a native of Pala in Kerala’s Kottayam district. Anurag had paid Jinu an advance of Rs 5 lakh out of the agreed sum of Rs 10 lakh.
The petition stated that Anurag had taken care of additional expenses while working on the script.
Anurag alleged that Mathew Thomas had agreed to direct the film with actor Suresh Gopi in the lead role. He noted that the film’s title Kaduvakunnel Kuravachan was registered with the Kerala Film Chamber and had released the teaser and arranged press conferences at his expense.
Anurag alleged that Jinu had indulged in a “foul play” by signing an agreement with a different producer to use this script and shoot the film as Kaduva. Anurag has sought the registrar of copyright to cancel Jinu’s name from the register and add his name as Kaduvakunnel Kuruvachan‘s copyright owner.
Jinu was unavailable for comments.
The next hearing of the case is yet to be scheduled.
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Earlier, the makers of Kaduva were ordered by the Irinjalakuda Sub Court in Thrissur, Kerala, on April 8 to suspend the film’s production and promotions after Anurag filed a complaint against the producer.
However, dismissing the court’s order, Jinu told Silverscreen India that the court’s order was “fake news”. “There is no issue and the shooting is going smooth. We are following all the Covid-19 protocols. I am not aware of any such issue and in fact, we have announced in social media that the shooting has commenced. There is no problem with the shooting,” Jinu told Silverscreen India.
On Tuesday, Kaduva‘s shooting was halted due to surging Covid-19 cases. In a social media post, Shaji Kailas said that they were temporarily suspending the film’s shooting to show solidarity with the government’s Covid-19 prevention measures. “We will resume shooting when the situation becomes a little more comfortable. Stay safe, Stay Healthy,” he wrote.