The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed the writ petition filed by Ravi Rathinam, who had challenged the producers of Rajinikanth-starrer ‘Lingaa’ as copyrights violation of his upcoming film’s story idea published on Youtube.
Madurai bench Justice M. Venugopal said the petitioner can initiate civil or criminal proceedings since it was a private dispute. The film directed by K.S. Ravi Kumar, ‘Lingaa’ is slated for release Dec 12 on Tamil hero Rajinikanth’s 63rd birthday.
The petitioner had alleged that the script he had penned for a film titled ‘Mullai Vanam 999’ was stolen by the makers of ‘Lingaa’, including superstar Rajinikanth, director K.S. Ravi Kumar and writer S. Ponkumaran.
In his counter affidavit, Rajinikanth explained that the script as well as screenplay for ‘Lingaa’ was penned by Ponkumaran, and the story was subsequently registered with South Indian Film Writers’ Association.
Like every popular Tamil hero film, Rajinikanth’s upcoming film “Lingaa” too was dragged to courts and even Kamal Haasan’s “Dasvatharam” too ended in court on similar grounds, delaying its release considerably.
Story writer S Ponkumaran said it was a “flimsy thread” that the story of “Lingaa” was from the petitioner’s story “Mullai Vanam 999” as based on Mullaiperiyar dam issue. “Just based on official trailers, how could the petitioner conclude that the story of “Lingaa” was the same as his story,” he questioned in his reply.
Ravi Rathinam said that the pooja for his film “Mullai Vanam 999” was held on February 24 and posted it on Youtube and alleged the producer and director of “Lingaa” had clandestinely stolen the storyline from Youtube.
Claiming that he had worked on the story for 47 years, he said “Mullai Vanam 999” was scheduled for release on Tamil new year day while “Lingaa” was to be released for Pongal festival next year, making it difficult for him to go ahead with his project.
However, his plea for a stay on the release of Rajinikath’s film “Lingaa” was rejected and he was asked to file a civil case, if necessary.