Bombay High Court grants protection from arrest to co-accused of Kangana Ranaut in ‘Didda’ copyright infringement case

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted film producer Kamal Jain protection from arrest till July 1, 2021 in connection with the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him and Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut for allegedly infringing the copyright of the book ‘Didda: Warrior Queen of Kashmir’.
A Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Bandra had directed the Khar Police Station to register the FIR based on a complaint filed by the author of Didda, Ashish Kaul.
Kaul’s claim was that Ranaut had breached his trust and acted in an absolutely fraudulent manner and in violation of his legal rights.
Senior Advocate Shirish Gupte, appearing for Jain, submitted to the Bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar that a notice under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to appear before the Khar police station was also sent to him.
Gupte argued that his client faced an imminent apprehension of arrest for the crime. He pointed out that Jain was ready to co-operate with the investigating agency and appear before the officer in light of the notice sent to him.
Upon this submission indicating Jain’s willingness to co-operate with the agency, and having regard to the nature of the accusations, the Court opined that Jain’s arrest was not warranted.
The Bench directed that Jain shall not be arrested till July 1, 2021. It also directed Jain to appear before the Khar Police on June 10 and 11, from 11 am to 2 pm, and thereafter whenever he is required to do so.
Kaul had sent the legal notice to Ranaut on the grounds that she induced him to send the story of his book, which she used as a script for her film, which was valued at an estimated Rs. 5 crore.
When Ranaut did not respond to the notice, Kaul approached the police. When they refused to register an FIR, he approached the Court with a criminal complaint.
On prima facie perusal of the complaint and the submission, the Court found that Ranaut seemed to have committed a cognizable offence and hence ordered registration of the FIR.
Jain had assailed the order of the Magistrate as well as the FIR registered by the Khar police in the case.

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