Chennai: The Madras high court has restrained M/s MG Auraa Cinemas Pvt Ltd from releasing the Telugu version of the movie Balloon for public exhibition without obtaining the specific prior leave of the court and without payment of `1 crore to 70MM Entertainment or furnishing the bank guarantee of said sum in favour of 70MM Entertainment.
A division bench comprising Justices Vineet Kothari and N.Seshasayee passed the order on an appeal filed by 70MM Entertainment represented by its partner T.N.Arun Balaji.
Appellant's counsel Vijayan Subramanian submitted that the appellant had produced a film Balloon, starring Jai, Anjali and Janani Iyer. Agreeing to the offer made by MG Auraa Cinemas, the appellant had assigned the entire copyright for the film Balloon to MG Auraa Cinemas for a royalty of Rs 6.30 crore. The company had paid Rs 5.18 crore and promised to pay the remaining amount before the release of the movie. However, the company has not paid the remaining amount till a day prior to the release of the film. Therefore, a memorandum of understanding was entered into between them that the company would pay the amount at the time of Telugu version release of the film. Subsequently, the company evaded from meeting the appellant and avoided attending the phone calls of the appellant, he added.
Vijayan Subramanian said when the appellant gave a complaint before the Tamil Film Producer Council, the company stated that the amount of `one crore has been used for the production of the another film named "100".Therefore, the appellant filed a petition to restrain the company from releasing the film "100" and obtained an interim order. However, on an application filed by the company, the interim order was vacated. Aggrieved, the appellant filed the present appeal. A division bench had on May 10 directed the company to release the Telugu version of "Balloon" on the condition that it should give an undertaking to pay `1 crore to the appellant on or before July 22, he added.
In its present order, the bench said admittedly M/s MG Auraa Cinemas have not complied with the terms of the order dated May 10 passed by the co-ordinate bench of this court. The counsel for Auraa Cinemas, Sathyaseelan submitted that despite all efforts to release the Telugu version of the movie Balloon, it has not been possible to do so and therefore, they were not in a position to pay a sum of ` 1 crore on or before July 22 to 70MM Entertainment so far. In view of the said admitted non-compliance of the order dated May 10 based on the MoU between the parties, this court was now constrained to restrain M/s MG Auraa Cinemas from releasing the Telugu version of Balloon. Clause (d) of the order permitted the company to release the movie titled 100 subject to fulfillment of the conditions.
Since the conditions stipulated have not been complied with, it further direct that exhibition of the movie titled 100 shall not be made now, the bench added.