Delhi HC turns down plea to stay 'Aashayein' release

MUMBAI: The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea by Reliance ADAG‘s Big Entertainment seeking a stay on Nagesh Kukunoor‘s directorial venture Aashayein, starring John Abraham as the lead protagonist.

Big Entertainment, which had made a part-payment of approximately Rs 40 million towards the acquisition of the distribution rights of the film, approached the court alleging that Percept Ltd and Super Cassette Industries, the co-producers of the film, had misrepresented facts and changed the storyline from the previously agreed upon script while signing the agreement.

Meanwhile, while disposing off the plea, the court has asked the co-producers to pay 30 per cent of the paid amount in proportions of 15 per cent each as compensation to the company.

Earlier in June 2008, Big Entertainment had signed a distribution agreement with co-producers Percept Ltd and Super Cassette Industries for theatrical, non-theatrical, world satellite, television and overseas home video rights. The total value of the deal stood at Rs 180 million, of which around Rs 40 million was paid as token amount.

In the petition filed to the court, the company had stated that while signing the deal, Aashayein was supposed to be a commercial film and it was assured to them that the co-producers would not change the storyline anyhow.

However, in July 2008 when Big Entertainment was shown the completed film, the company claimed that the storyline had undergone a complete transition and was nowhere a commercial film now.

The bench, comprising Justice Manmohan Singh, observed that since Aashayein is ready for release, it would be harmful for actors, investors and exhibitors if the release of Aashayein was stayed.

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