After a long battle between music maestro Ilaiyaraaja and Prasad Studios, the Madras High Court last week, granted permission to the musician to visit his chamber and vacate it on December 28.
Ilaiyaraaja was seeking to restrain the owners of Prasad Studios from interfering with his possession of a recording theatre in the studio premises. As the high court attempted to settle the feud, the bench said that the composer could meditate in the premises for a day before vacating.
The chamber in the studio reportedly contains several of Ilaiyaraaja’s precious photos and his Padma Bhushan award. However, despite housing such memories, the composer refused to visit the studio after he realised that it had been converted into an IT server.
How did the talks break down between the studio and the composer? Silverscreen India takes a look.
The feud between the music composer and Prasad Studios began in September 2019 after Sai Prasad, grandson of founder LV Prasad, took over the studios.
This July, the music composer filed a complaint against Sai Prasad for “tampering with his musical instruments, notes and valuables” and for threatening to cut electricity, water, and other supplies. The complaint also said that Sai Prasad had forcibly entered the recording theatre and threatened him for using the premises.
The complaint stated that Sai Prasad had been damaging his property at the studio.“I have learnt through my known circle that the said Mr Sai Prasad through his men has been removing, stealing and damaging many of my belongings and articles which are worth several crores,” the complaint said.
The legal battle
Earlier this month, Ilaiyaraaja filed a complaint after he was denied access to Prasad Studios, citing renovation work. He moved the high court to stop the owners from interfering with his use of a recording theatre on the studio premises, where he has been composing music for the past four decades. He also demanded Rs 50 lakh as relief for the mental agony caused to him due to the forcible eviction.
On December 19, the Madras High Court asked Prasad Studios to consider Ilaiyaraaja’s request to let him meditate within the studio premises for a day. While the court stated humanitarian grounds, Prasad Studios filed a counter case a couple of days later saying the composer would not be allowed within the premises if his intention is to compose music.
Last week, the high court allowed Ilaiyaraaja to meditate in the studio for a day and retrieve his belongings.
What lies ahead?
After stating that Ilaiyaraaja’s personal belongings were manhandled, his lawyer Saravanan said that they were assessing the inventory and holding discussions with the composer.
In a video shared by Thanthi TV, Saravanan also alleged that his room was broken open and the management removed all his belongings from the room, without informing him.
“Only to visit his chamber one last time where he has been working for the past 35 years, Ilaiyaraaja withdrew all his pleas against the studio management in the court. However, after coming to know that all his belongings were removed, he has no reason to visit the place and he is heartbroken,” he said.
Sources close to the composer said that Ilaiyaraja and his team are yet to determine further course of action.