A court on Friday ordered an interim stay on release of Smruti Tume odia movie, reportedly based on the life of legendary music director and singer Akshaya Mohanty.
Senior civil judge, Cuttack, delivered the judgement in response to the petition filed by Mohanty’s widow Prabina Mohanty.
Prabina moved the court in October, alleging that Odia film director Susant Mani is making a film on her husband’s life. She stated that the filmmaker had not taken her permission before making the film, 90% of which has already been shot.
Alleging infringement of copyright, the petitioner contended that the director has based his ‘Smruti Tume’ odia film on Akshaya Mohanty’s autobiography published in two volumes ‘Aryadas Ra Atmalipi’ in 2002 and ‘Aryadas Ra Seshalipi’ in 2003.
The singer’s wife demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the infringement. She also expressed dissatisafaction as Mani went ahead with the film despite a legal notice from the singer’s family. “There was no response from the director or the production house to the legal notice forcing my client to move court for justice,” said petitioner’s counsel Avijit Pal.
“Taking note of our contentions, the court directed the censor board not to issue certificate to the film until further orders. This means that the film cannot be released till then,” said Pal.
The court has also issued notice to Mani andthe production house, Midstream Cinema, to file reply to the allegations of the petitioners by January 4.
The director has refuted the allegations. “Time and again, I have clarified that the film is not based on Akshaya Mohanty’s personal life. Shooting of the Smruti Tume odia movie is not yet over and nobody exactly knows its content,” said Mani, who expressed his ignorance about the court order.
Following the order, Akshaya Mohanty’s son, Mitrabhanu said, “The stay order is a huge relief to my family. I am grateful to the court for it. Our fight is not yet over.”