Court okays release of 'Aashayein'

Jan 26, 2009 IANS

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea by Anil Ambani's Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE) challenging the release of John Abraham starrer Hindi movie "Aashayein" because co-producers of the movie had allegedly changed the storyline of the movie.

RBE, which purchased the rights of the film, approached the court alleging the film's co-producers -- Percept Ltd. and Super Cassette Industries -- misrepresented facts and indulged in fraud, besides changing storyline from the previously agreed upon script while signing the distribution agreement.

Justice Manmohan Singh said that RBE should be compensated by the co-producers and asked them to deposit 30 percent of Rs.4 crore (Rs.40 million) paid by it for buying the film's rights and asked Percept Ltd and Super Cassette Industries to deposit the money within a week.

RBE had paid Percept and super cassettes around Rs.4 crore, out of the total deal value of Rs.18 crore (Rs.180 million) in June 2008 and entered into an agreement for theatrical, non-theatrical, world satellite, television and overseas home video rights.

In its petition, RBE submitted that as per their distribution agreement with the two co-producers, RBE was to pay Rs.18 crore for the rights of Nagesh Kukunoor-directed "Aashayein", which was supposed to be a commercial film, and was assured that the co-producers would not deviate from the storyline.

But when the complete film was shown to RBE in July 2008, it did not resemble the original storyline. It was not even a commercial film and character of John Abraham was changed from a compulsive gambler discovering fortunes of life to a cancer patient, it said.

However, Percept and Super Cassettes denied receiving any such communication from RBE after they were shown the movie.

The court said the film was complete and ready for release and it would be harmful for actors, investors and exhibitors if it stopped "Aashayein" at this stage.

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