Regulators

Kolkata HC clears Sahara's 'Karishma...', Bradford files appeal in SC

MUMBAI: It's retribution time for the Subrata Roy owned Sahara TV. After a long drawn legal battle with American author Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sahara has finally won the Karishma - The Miracles of Destiny case.

In a judgment this morning, the Kolkata high court on Monday allowed telecast of Sahara Entertainment's serial, dismissing an appeal by Bradford, who had claimed the series was a plagiarised version of her novel A Woman of Substance, the Press Trust of India has reported. However, the American author promptly filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

"We have already filed our appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict" delivered earlier in the day, Taylor's counsel Som Mandal told PTI in Delhi on Monday evening. Taylor has sought a stay on the clearance given to Sahara TV to go ahead with telecast of the serial.

Sahara had aired the first episode of the serial at 9.30 pm on 12 May, but had to discontinue it from the next day as the court blocked telecast of the series following Bradford's petition. Massive hoardings still dot the metros, displaying the lead characters in the serial, who range from Bollywood actors Karisma Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Sanjay Kapoor and Arshad Warsi.

BRADFORD DIRECTED TO PAY DAMAGES

A division bench comprising Justice AN Ray and Justice J Banerjee also directed the American author to pay damages for the delay in the telecast of the serial as well as the cost of litigation, reports PTI.

According to sources close to the production company, Sahara will however not telecast the serial in a hurry. There will be a fresh round of on air promos and teaser campaigns before a re-launch date is finalised for the 'biggest television series ever'. The channel had gone in for a massive promo blitz in the first week of May, including painting local Mumbai trains with the Karishma... hoardings and tying up with major stores in cities.

The Kolkata High Court, which had earlier this month, given a go ahead to Sahara but withdrew it on an appeal from Bradford, went through all available footage of the serial as well as Bradford's novel before announcing its verdict today. 

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