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Mulk case: Petitioner to move against Soham Rockstar Entertainment for stay on film's release

Soham Rockstar Entertainment's Deepak Mukut says court has cleared the film for release, but Punwani says stay order will be in force till 2 August.

Mayur Lookhar

The film is scheduled for release on 3 August, but director and co-producer Anubhav Sinha's Mulk still has to clear some legal hurdles before that.

The film has got mired in a property rental dispute involving Sinha and a person named Vandana Suresh Punwani, who has sued him for arrears amounting to Rs55 lakh.

Yesterday, Sinha's legal team moved the civil court at Dindoshi in northwest Mumbai against Punwani’s plea for a stay on the film's release.

While that matter is due to be heard on 2 August, another firm, Soham Rockstar Entertainment, moved the court yesterday claiming to hold the film's copyright and seeking clearance for its release.

Soham Rockstar Entertainment owner Deepak Mukut told Cinestaan.com, “We moved court yesterday saying Soham Rockstar Entertainment owns the film's copyright, and the court has ruled that we are free to release the film. The [dispute] is between Vandana Suresh Punwani and Anubhav Sinha. Punwani unnecessarily made us party to their personal dispute. The court heard our plea and ruled that Soham Rockstar Entertainment had nothing to do with the personal dispute. We have given the delivery for overseas too, and the film will be released on schedule.”

But Suresh Punwani said the film has not been cleared for release. “The stay on the film's release is valid all over India," he told Cinestaan.com. "Yesterday, Soham Rockstar Entertainment moved court saying it has nothing to do with the case. But the judge clearly told them the film cannot be released."

According to Punwani, the judge said the question of authority for releasing the film is an issue between Benaras Mediaworks, Anubhav Sinha’s production company, and Mukut's Soham Rockstar Entertainment. "They are co-producers. But they cannot release the film. The stay is on. I will move move the court to seek a stay order against Soham Rockstar releasing the film," Punwani said.

The trailer of Mulk and other promotional material of the film have carried the names of both firms as producers. Mukut, however, said that does not mean Sinha or his firm holds the intellectual property rights for Mulk.

“Credit is different," Mukut said. "I can even credit you as co-producer. That doesn’t mean you become a copyright holder. The intellectual property rights are registered in my name. Mr Sinha has only worked for us in a technical capacity as the director.”

Mulk stars Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu and Ashutosh Rana.