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Supreme Court refuses to lift stay on Nagraj Manjule's Jhund featuring Amitabh Bachchan

A civil court in Telangana had imposed a stay in September on the film's release and the Telangana high court had refused to overturn it.

Shriram Iyengar

The Supreme Court has refused to lift a stay on the exhibition of Nagraj Manjule's Jhund ordered by a civil court in Telangana.

The film, featuring Amitabh Bachchan, has been entangled in a copyright dispute since November 2019

Legal news website LiveLaw.in stated that the court directed that the lower court dispose of the suit within six months.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde dismissed the special leave petition filed by Super Cassettes Ltd. The petition challenged the decision of a division bench of the Telangana high court to dismiss an appeal against the 17 September order of the trial court. 

The trial court, on 17 September, had restrained the producers from exhibiting or broadcasting the film until further orders. The producers appealed against this, but the trial court's order was upheld by the division bench of the Telangana high court.

The producers, represented by senior advocates VR Dhond and PS Narasimha, argued that releasing the film after six months would render it 'useless'. The producers were willing to come to a settlement of Rs1.3 crore, which the plaintiff refused.

Jhund is based on the real-life story of coach Vijay Barse, who coached a football team of poor children to represent India at the 'Homeless World Cup' in Brazil. The film ran into a controversy after filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar claimed to have bought the copyright to the story from footballer Akhilesh Paul. Paul was a member of the Slum Soccer Club and went on to captain India at the Homeless World Cup.