M/S. ZEE TELEFILMS LTD.(NOW KNOWN AS ZEE ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES LTD.) Vs. SURESH PRODUCTIONS & ORS.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
M/S. Zee Telefilms Ltd.(Now Known As Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.)
Suresh Productions And Ors.
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ASHOK BHUSHAN, J. -
(1.)This appeal has been filed by the defendant against the judgment of the High Court of Judicature at
Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of
Andhra Pradesh dated 11.03.2016 allowing the
plaintiffs ' appeal.
(2.)Brief facts of the case for deciding this appeal are:
The parties shall be referred to as described in the suit. The plaintiffs have been carrying on business of producing, distributing and exhibiting cinematographic films. On a request of 4th defendant, M/s. N.S. Films, the plaintiffs on 23.12.1994 assigned to four persons nominated by 4th defendant satellite broadcasting rights of 16 Hindi films for a period of 9 years. The assignments were made by six assignment deeds all dated 23.12.1994. In the year 1995, plaintiffs came to know about the pendency of the Small Causes Suit filed in Bombay, Small Causes Suit No.281 of 1995 by 3rd defendant, M/s. Asia Vision against the 4th defendant seeking for relief of declaration and injunction in respect of above 16 films, on the basis of certain documents purporting to be a deed of assignment dated 07.10.1994 and declaration dated 15.10.1994 allegedly assigned by D. Suresh Babu assigning satellite and Doordarshan rights in favour of 4th defendant. The suit at Bombay was filed on the basis of notarised of the said forged documents. Shri D. Ramesh Babu, Director of first plaintiff lodged a complaint with the Police Station, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad complaining about the said forgery. Defendant No.3 had also lodged complaint against 4th defendant and plaintiffs at Mumbai. Several criminal proceedings were filed by the plaintiffs as well as by defendant Nos.3 to 8. However, suit filed by the other parties came to be dismissed for default and controversy was subsided.
(3.)The plaintiffs issued a public notice in the Film Information Magazine on 27.09.2003 with respect to the
above said 16 Hindi films. A legal notice from first
defendant on 14.10.2003 in reply to the notice of the
plaintiffs was received where defendant No.1 claimed
that they have acquired satellite broadcasting, Pay TV
and Cable TV rights of all above 16 Hindi films from
defendant No.2, M/s. B.N.U. & Co. vide deed of
assignment dated 21.03.1997 for a period of 99 years
and that, M/s. B.N.U. & Co. had in turn acquired the
said rights from M/s. Asia Vision, defendant No.3, vide
agreement dated 16.03.1997. The first defendant called
upon the plaintiffs to withdraw the said public notice.
The plaintiffs sent reply dated 17.10.2003 refuting
the facts in the notice of the first defendant. The
plaintiffs filed Original Suit No.392 of 2003 on
11.11.2003 before the Chief Judge, City Civil Courts, Hyderabad, for declaration that defendant Nos.1 to 4 have no manner of right, title and interest
in the Copyright in respect of the scheduled films, to
pass a decree of perpetual injunction against defendant
Nos. 1 to 4.
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