In the ‘The White Tiger’ matter where a stay was asked upon by Sonia Mudbhatkal, the court dismissed the claims by calling it unjustified where the plaintiffs requested another hearing and today, failed to appear in the court. A day ahead of the scheduled release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ on a streaming platform, the Delhi High Court heard an urgent petition filed by Sonia Mudbhatkal seeking a stay on its streaming on grounds of alleged copyright violation.
In the last hearing that urgently started at 7 pm a day before the film’s release, a single bench of Justice C Harishankar held that no prima facie material was shown to justify a last minute grant of injunction against the respondents. As the proceedings went by, the court stated that “Why should I not take… that this is not an open and shut case of blackmail?”.
If you think I am going to give you relief without placing any of these on record, you are badly mistaken. Why should I not take… that this is not an open and shut case of blackmail?: Court#WhiteTiger#DelhiHighCourt— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 21, 2021
Distraught over perceiving the court lightly without having any substantial grounds to seek a stay on the release just 24 hours before its release, the court also stated, “Don’t blame corona for everything. You are aware from 2019..for a half baked story, you want the court to give you an interim injunction? I am not convinced. There is absolutely nothing”.
Don't blame corona for everything. You are aware from 2019..for a half baked story, you want the court to give you an interim injunction? I am not convinced. There is absolutely nothing: Court#WhiteTiger#DelhiHighCourt— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 21, 2021
Plaintiff’s advocate Kapil Sankhla also prayed the Court for 24 hours to get the documents and protect them for the period. And, Justice Hari Shankar flatly refused the prayer: “I will not protect you for 24 minutes, forget about hours”. Yet, there was another hearing date that was given for 11th February, 2020 where Sonia and her representative lawyers did not turn up.
Sankhla urges Court for 24 hours to get the documents.— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) January 21, 2021
I (Hart) am in America: Adv Sankhla
You remain there: Court
Protect me for 24 hours: Sankhla
I will not protect you for 24 minutes, forget about hours: Court #WhiteTiger#DelhiHighCourt
In the order passed by the hon’ble court, refusing to put a stay on the release, the court stated, “There is no material on record to justify the plaintiffs approaching this court less than 24 hours prior to release seeking stay..It is settled … that any party approaching court at the end hour, seeking interlocutory indirection against the release of cinematographic film, is disentitled to any such relief.”
Even after a harsh dealing from the court, Sonia Mudbhatkal is now proceeding with a media narrative against the order passed. A source from the court premises and close to the matter shares, “The plaintiff in this matter is known to knock the doors of the court in short notice, even in past matters. It is a pattern that is widely observed where she has earlier also dealt with matters lightly and went on to seek orders 24-48 hours prior. The court is the highest authority and has clearly indicated that the matter looks like an open and shut case of blackmail.”