Mumbai HC upholds Creative Eye right to 'Jai Santoshi...' track

MUMBAI: It may not be music to the ears of Kavi Pradeep's descendants, but the Mumbai High Court has upheld Creative Eye's rights to use the poet's title track for its mythological Jai Santoshi Maa.

The serial, currently aired on Zee TV, uses the hit track from the similarly titled film which spawned a massive cult following when released in 1975. Pradeep, who penned the lyrics for a pittance for the film's producer Satram Rohra, is no more but his daughter Mittul Pradeep, dragged Creative Eye to court, asking that Pradeep be given due acknowledgement in the serial's credits. Creative Eye MD Dheeraj Kumar did not deem it necessary, having bought the rights for using the song from Rohra for a reported Rs 48,000.

The court, in its ruling this week, has also upheld Rohra's rights to the work and dismissed Pradeep's petition. "Under clause 7 all the rights in the work vest in defendent no. 3 (Satram Rohra) without any reservation. At least in this prima facie stage, therefore, it is not possible based on a prima facie reading of Clauses 7 or 8 to hold that they are contract to the contrary to bring the contract of service within the purview of Section 17 (c) of the Copyright Act", it ruled.

Earlier, Mittul Pradeep had sent copies of her petition to the Film Writers' Association, Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA), The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and Zee TV, of which only the Film Writers' Association (FWA), of which Kavi Pradeep had been a member, responded, supporting him legally, morally and financially.

IMPPA, say media reports, took up the issue in March but Kumar had claimed he should not be held responsible for anything because he had the bond from Rohra. With the high court finally ruling in Creative Eye's favour, the controversy seems to have ended. For now.

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