Mumbai: A day before Kangana Ranaut’s digital debut as a host of Lock Upp, the makers of the reality show are in legal trouble. The City Civil Court of Hyderabad has issued an ad-interim injunction on releasing the upcoming show Lock Upp, produced by Ekta Kapoor. The order is awarded after hearing and checking the documents of the petitioner Sanober Baig, who happens to be the sole right holder of the story and the script of the concept The Jail. The court also took on record the video clip of the trailer of Lock Upp and concluded that it appears similar. Since the reality show was to be released on February 27, the court has passed the order with an urgent notice prohibiting the exhibition of the show on any electronic media, social media, etc.
Pride Media owns the concept of The Jail through its proprietor Sanober Baig. Written by Shaantanu Ray and Sheershak Anand, it is registered under the copyright act on March 7, 2018. It was registered at the Film Writers Association. In his petition, Baig, the plaintiff, has described how the concept was developed and also explained the concept in detail, informing about the money invested by him at various stages of concept development.
Commenting on the situation, Baig said, “When I saw the promo of the said show, I was in shock. I have been in touch with Abhishek Rege from Endemol Shine for a long time and had several meetings about the subject in Hyderabad. He had promised that once the market gets better, we will get going. The show is not only similar to our concept but an absolute copy of the same. I could not believe that somebody could plagiarise the concept to such an extent. We have prayed to the court for infringement of the copyright and have got a stay order.”
If the infringement is proved, the defendant production houses will be liable for consequences under sections 51 and 52 of the Copyright Act. “I connected with the respective companies and requested them not to go ahead with the concept. But they turned a deaf ear and challenged that they have every right to stream as per the schedule. I had no option but to seek redressal from the judiciary. The notice has been served to all the parties involved and we have the acknowledgment of the same. If the show gets aired it’ll be a contempt of the court. I have full faith in the judiciary and I am sure justice will be served,” said Baig.
Lock Upp marks Kangana’s digital debut as a host and she plays a boss lady with style. From Poonam Pandey, Nisha Rawal, Karanvir Bohra, Babita Phogat to controversial comedian Munawar Faruqui, the show will see 16 celebrities getting ‘jailed’ for a period of 72 days. The reality show was supposed to start streaming on February 27 on ALTBalaji and MXPlayer. However, in the new promo of ALTBalaji, we don’t see any streaming date announcement. Instead, ‘coming soon’ is written.
Meanwhile, ever since comedian Munawar Faruqui has decided to participate in the reality show hosted by Kangana, there’s been an uproar on social media. His fans, especially, are not happy with the comedian, who even went to jail for his jokes. Kangana, on the other hand, is known to be a prime mouthpiece of the right wing. In fact, on several occasions in the past, Munawar has commented on Kangana. “Kangana is against nepotism but khud ki bahen ko manager rakha ha,” he wrote. “Kangana ke tweets padke lag raha hai Fir se Judicial custody chala jaun!,” he posted in another tweet.
In the promos of Lock Upp we see how Kangana promises to ‘torture’ the contestants. In an interview with the Indian Express, Munawar was asked how would be gel with someone with different ideology and he had said, “If someone believes in ideologies, they would also believe that we live in a democratic country. We all have the freedom of speech and to put across our beliefs. If one expects to be heard and their opinions respected, they too would have to do the same. It’s going to be a give and take situation.”
Netizens, however, aren’t very happy with his decisions and memes are doing the rounds.