High Court adjourns Shah bail plea hearing

The Bombay High Court on Monday adjourned Bollywood financier and co-promoter of B4U Bharat Shah's bail plea till Tuesday as the defence arguments remained incomplete. However, the court gave permission for the release of his film "Chori Chori Chupke Chupke" on the condition that the rights of the film would remain with the government, Chalo Mumbai reported.

Shah had filed his bail plea in the High Court after his bail was rejected in the special court. The case was brought before Justice SS Parkar and Advocate Ashok Desai appeared on Shah's behalf. Shah was arrested on 8 January under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for his alleged links with underworld don Chhota Shakeel.

Meanwhile, "Chori Chori" producer Nasim Rizvi and Shah have both made counter claims on the seized negatives of the movie while the prosecution has urged the the appointment of a court receiver to release the film and deposit the proceeds in the treasury, according to Press Trust of India.

Public prosecutor Rohini Salian, speaking on the plea made by Shah for the release of the film's negatives, informed a special court that the film producer and accused Rizvi had claimed during interrogation his right over the release of the controversial movie.

Both Shah and Rizvi are being tried under MCOCA for their alleged nexus with the underworld. In the circumstances, it would not be proper to release the film's negatives to either of them, Salian said.

The prosecutor has suggested that in the interest of justice, the court may give its ruling on the rights of the film after the conclusion of the trial so that no prejudice is caused to any of the accused. Till then, she said the film's negatives should not be released to anyone.

Shah's counsel urged for time till January 17 to file his submissions on the prosecution's prayer for appointment of court receiver. Accordingly, designated judge AP Bhangale has adjourned the matter until then.

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