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Bombay High Court directs Eros to pay Bhansali Productions Rs. 19 lakh in 3 weeks

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K A Y Dodhiya (HINDUSTAN TIMES; May 6, 2020)

Mumbai : The Bombay high court on Monday directed Eros International to pay outstanding dues to Bhansali Productions of ₹19.3 lakh for the film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela but refused to restrain two foreign companies from exploiting the rights of the film after a merger was announced between Eros and two foreign companies.

Bhansali Productions and Eros International Media Limited had co-produced and released the movie in 2013 and there was an understanding between the two with regards to rights of the film. However, after one of the foreign companies started using the poster of the movie to highlight the merger, Bhansali Productions invoked the arbitration and conciliation clauses which restrained Eros International from selling, exploiting, licensing, distributing and renewing rights over the film. Bhansali also sought ₹19.39 lakh dues to be paid by Eros.

A single bench of justice B P Colabawalla while hearing the petition filed by Bhansali Productions through video conferencing on Monday was informed by senior counsel Zal Andhyarujina and advocates Nausher Kohli, Parag Khandhar and Nachiket Yagnik that Eros International limited was likely to merge with its parent company Eros International PLC and Hollywood’s STX Filmworks by June 30.

Advocates Akshay Patil and Vikrant Zunjarrao representing Eros International opposed the plea and said that there was no urgency to grant interim reliefs to Bhansali productions as Eros was to bound to pay the dues.

After hearing the submissions, justice Colabawalla said that as the respondent companies were situated in the British Isles and California, it would require a detailed hearing to decide on whether reliefs can be granted against entities lying beyond the court’s jurisdiction. He further said that as the court was hearing only extremely urgent matters there was no case for ad-interim reliefs. The court, however, directed Eros International to pay dues of ₹19,39,241 to Bhansali Production related to co-production arrangement in three weeks.

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