|Dinesh and (above) a scene from Teesri Kasam
A project to promote rural development schemes in the state by holding screenings of Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rahman-starrer Teesri Kasam has landed the government in a copyright tussle.
Dinesh Shailendra, the youngest son of late lyricist Shailendra, who produced the iconic 1966-film directed by Basu Chatterjee, has demanded Rs 15 crore from the state government for not seeking permission from his family before using it for its welfare campaigns.
“In 1967, the Bombay High Court gave the verdict that the copyright for all my father’s work would be held jointly by my mother and his five children. Screening the film without taking our permission is in violation of this ruling,” said Dinesh (57), a film director.
He added that he had sent emails to chief minister Nitish Kumar and other senior officials of the Bihar government but had not received any response. “I shall initiate the required legal procedure if I don’t get a response,” he said.
Senior government officials, however, claimed they had no clue about the development.
Brajesh Mehrotra, secretary, information and public relations, said he was not aware of any such email and that the Bihar government had purchased the rights to screen the National Award winning film in 1979.
“The film has been screened a number of times before as well,” he said.
Dinesh, however, has sought the intervention of Union minister of information and broadcasting Manish Tewari in the matter.
Adapted from Phanishwarnath Renu’s short story Mare Gaye Gulfam, the film was shot in Araria. It is being used as part of a mobile campaign, which was flagged off by chief minister Nitish Kumar on March 5.