Nana Patekar‘s upcoming film Tadka which is directed by Prakash Raj has run into legal trouble. The film which is a remake of the 2014-Malayalam hit film Salt N’ Pepper has been put on hold as Justice SJ Kathawalla issued an order stating that the film will not release without the permission of the court.
Apparently on Monday, the Bombay High Court summoned Prakash Raj after Essel Vision Productions Limited( the company which runs Zee Studios), producers of the film, filed a suit against director, Prakash Raj.
For those uninitiated, It all started when Zee Studios approached the Bombay High Court on January 25, seeking enforcement of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Zee and Sameer Dixit-Jatish Verma (Brother-in-law of Raj)- partners in a production house called Movie Makers, which is in the business of acquisition and exploitation of copyright in motion pictures.
Actor Prakash Raj owns a firm called Duet Movies, and Sameer Dixit-Jatish Verma had approached Zee Studios to produce Tadka and after all the discussions, a MoU was executed on March 10, 2016.
As per the reports, “According to the MoU, Rs 4,25,00,000 plus taxes were paid by Zee Studios to Dixit and Verma. This MoU was not signed by Prakash Raj, and now Zee Studios has alleged that Prakash “purposely did not execute the said MoU, so as to calculatedly defeat the rights” of Zee Studios “in collusion and connivance with” Verma and Dixit”. According to Zee Studios, when the MoU was being executed, Zee wasn’t shown any agreement between Prakash Raj, Jatish Verma, and Sameer Dixit.
After the cast and cost of production were worked upon between Zee Studios and Prakash Raj, Jatish Verma and Dixit, 2017 was zeroed in for the release of the film but Tadka got delayed and was later set to release in 2019. Now, Zee Studios claims that under the MoU, the “Intellectual Property Rights of the film was jointly owned by them. While Zee Studios’ share was 60 percent, Verma and Dixit had a 40 percent share, and according to the MoU, the exploitation rights of the film was “solely and completely vested” with Zee Studios. As per the agreement, if any of the parties had to sell their rights, then it would be only to each other.”
During the court hearing on Monday, producers of the film, Zee Studios urged that the court should pass an order in their favor, handing over all the rights to them. However, advocate Rajesh Bindra, representing Akshay Communication (A firm to whom Prakash Raj had already sold some of his rights), objected, saying that they had paid Rs 4.5 crore to Prakash Raj and so order in favor of Zee Studios could not be passed. Justice SJ Kathawalla of the Bombay High Court then ordered Prakash Raj to be present in court in the middle of the week to explain his stand.