SHAMOIL AHMAD KHAN Vs. FALGUNI SHAH & ORS.
LAWS(BOM)-2020-5-79
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
Decided on May 26,2020

Shamoil Ahmad Khan Appellant
VERSUS
Falguni Shah And Ors. Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) This notice of motion, taken out in a copyright infringement suit, seeks a temporary injunction against the Defendants from telecasting or exhibiting their web series by the name of "Singardaan" or publishing or making an adaptation of the Plaintiff's story bearing the same title, i.e. Singardaan. The Plaintiff also seeks a temporary injunction restraining the Defendants from using the title "Singardaan", or any other identical or deceptively similar title, for the Defendants' web series so as to pass off as, and for that of, the Plaintiff's story titled "Singardaan".
(2.) The Plaintiff is a writer, known for his literary work in Urdu and Hindi Languages, having to his credit popular novels and collection of short stories. One of the short stories in his collection goes by the name of "Singardaan" written in Urdu. The story was first published in 1993 in a literary magazine called "Zahne-Jadid", published from New Delhi and later, in 1996, in the Plaintiff's own collection of short stories in Urdu titled "Singardaan" published by Mayar Publication, New Delhi. The story was also translated in Hindi by the Plaintiff himself and published in a collection of Hindi short stories by the same name (i.e Singardaan) by Ayan Publications, New Delhi in 1994. The story has since been re-published in literary magazines, books, etc. and translated in languages such as English, Marathi and Punjabi from time to time. It has also been published on various websites. The story was adapted in the form of a play and staged, and is claimed to have received rave reviews. The Plaintiff's case is that the Defendants have produced a web series under an identical title, i.e. Singardaan, which has 6 episodes of a total duration of about 1 hour and 54 minutes. The series has been launched or released on an App by the name of "Ullu" and is available on the web platform of YouTube among others. It is the grievance of the Plaintiff that in their own web series the Defendants have not only copied the Plaintiff's title, Singardaan, but the entire plot, narrative and characters of his story by the same name. The Plaintiff, accordingly, seeks damages as well as injunctive reliefs in the suit and prays for temporary reliefs in the present notice of motion in terms of the perpetual injunctions prayed for in the suit.
(3.) The motion is opposed by the Defendants, who deny that their web series is a copy or an adaptation of the Plaintiff's story "Singardaan". The Defendants submit that though the titles are the same, the Defendants' work is an entirely original story and creation; the premise, the story line as well as the plot in the two works are materially different.;


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