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“It is reiterated that the exceptional power of superintendence is not to be exercised at the drop of a hat at the ad-interim stage, particularly when the petitioner has an alternative and efficacious statutory remedy provided under the Code and the special statutes”, the bench opined.
The Kerala High Court has dismissed pleas against ad-interim injunction orders by two Courts, preferred by the Producers (Hombale Films) of movie Kantara. The petitions were against the orders restraining the Producers of the movie from using the song Varaha Roopam over an alleged copyright dispute.
“The contentions raised by the petitioner are mixed and disputed questions of fact and law, which will have to be dealt with by the Court of the first instance or the appellate court. It is not for this Court to examine each and every contention raised in the original petition, that too at the ad-interim stage, and rule upon their worthiness and correctness. If this Court carries out such an exercise, it will foreclose the statutory rights of the parties and will undoubtedly cause grave prejudice to them”, Justice C.S. Dias stated.
In the pertinent matter ‘Thaikudam Bridge’, a musical band (also the first respondent), had filed a suit against the petitioner and respondents 2 to 10, inter-alia, to declare that they are the original author and composer of the original song ‘Navarasam’. The band had further alleged that they have the absolute moral and certain legal rights and entitlements reserved to it under the Copyright Act.
The two orders of temporary injunctions restraining the Producers of the movie Kantara from using the song in theatres, were passed by Palakkad District Court and the Kozhikode District Court, which were put to challenge before the High Court.
The injunction order of the courts restrained the Producer, Hombale Films from exhibiting, releasing on OTT platforms, streaming, distributing, or communicating to the public, the song in dispute until further orders.
Therefore, after considering the established procedure and the submissions thus made on the behalf, the Court opined, “This Court fails to understand why the petitioner has directly approached this Court to vacate an ad-interim order bye-passing the procedure established under law. It is reiterated that the exceptional power of superintendence is not to be exercised at the drop of a hat at the ad-interim stage, particularly when the petitioner has an alternative and efficacious statutory remedy provided under the Code and the special statutes”.
“The supervisory jurisdiction of this Court is not to be exercised to inter-meddle with every ad-interim order passed by the subordinate courts. If that is the case, the Courts of original jurisdiction and appellate Courts will become defunct, and this Court will be flooded with such litigation, unsettling and dislodging the legislative framework laid down under the Code”, the bench further opined.
Case Title: HOMBALE FILMS LLP vs. THAIKKUDAM BRIDGE
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