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Court allows film release with riders

Calcutta High Court’s vacation bench on Monday passed an order allowing Srijata Productions to release its film Na Hanyatte on schedule in Bengal with certain restrictions.

Justice Soumen Sen said the production company would have to change the film posters and music CD covers to make it clear it is not based on the Maitreyi Devi novel of the same name before releasing the film on November 16.

According to the order, the calligraphy of the title in the posters and CD covers will have to be changed and the cover of the Maitreyi Devi novel, designed by Satyajit Ray, blanked out.

Also, the film’s director, Riingo, has been asked to carry a disclaimer before each screening — that the plot is not based on the Maitreyi Devi novel.

Last week, the daughter-in-law of Maitreyi Devi, Ruplekha Sen, had moved court seeking an order restraining the release of the film.

Sen claimed she held the copyright of the novel Na Hanyate and naming the film after the “world-famous” novel was “illegal and arbitrary”.

On November 9, her lawyer Pradyughna Sinha alleged the film-maker had also used the cover of the novel, designed by Satyajit Ray, in the posters and music CD covers. The typography used for the title in the posters and music covers was the same as that of the book cover designed by Ray, it was alleged.

On Monday, Sudipta Sarkar, the lawyer appearing for Srijata Productions and Riingo, submitted the name had been taken from the dictionary, and did not constitute a copyright violation as such.

The judge passed the order after hearing submissions of both sides.

“We’ll put a sticker (covering the book cover) on the posters which are already out, change the calligraphy of ‘Na Hanyatte’ and carry a disclaimer at the beginning of the film,” said Riingo. “But people already knew we were making a film called Na Hanyatte.... They went to court a week before the film’s release, which is ridiculous.”