Director Vipul Shah’s upcoming film starring Akshay Kumar titled Namaste England, has already sparked a controversy for all the wrong reasons before the production could even begin.
It is learnt that sometime in June 2015, Blue Whale Motion Pictures, the Producers, having former Indian tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi at its helm had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with T-Series, a popular Music Label and a Film production House, for jointly producing Namaste London and money exchanged hands. In the same MoU T-Series was also assigned exclusive music rights and IP in the Akshay Kumar starrer.
If the buzz is to be believed, then the said Film with the same star cast and the same director is now also being produced by third parties on the similar lines as that agreed between Mahesh Bhupathi’s company and Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series. It is learnt through reliable sources that the Producers Mahesh Bhupathi, Virender Arora, Prerna Arora and Arjun N Kapoor have been served with a legal notice by T-Series' lawyers alleging that the Producers have defrauded T-Series by setting up dummy companies to enter into agreements with third parties for independently producing the said film without either informing T-Series' or without taking their consent. While speculations are on the rise, T-series also appears to have filed a criminal complaint against the Producers on multiple counts including criminal breach of trust, breach of confidence, wrongful disclosure of confidential information, copyright infringement and cheating.
When contacted, Ajay Kapoor of T-Series says, “We have a valid, subsisting and irrevocably binding MoU dated 10th June 2015 wherein T-Series is co-producing the film Namaste England as one of the owners in the IP of the Film. Further, all rights in the music and audio visual of the said film has also been assigned in our favour. Any attempt by any party to circumvent and/or negate the said MoU or wriggle out of the contractual obligation shall tantamount to copyright infringement, fraud, unfair business practice, dishonestly misappropriating property, criminal breach of trust, cheating , breach of confidentiality and wrongful disclosure of confidential information.”
T-Series' Ajay Kapoor further confirmed that a complaint has been filed before the Delhi Police Crime Branch in this regard, however, refused to give any further comments as the matter is now before the police authorities. As for what Blue Whale Motion Pictures or Mahesh Bhupathi has to say about this controversy is yet to be seen!
The big question being asked in the Bollywood circles is - when a production house has got into an agreement with another to make a film, is it fair and ethical on part of Mahesh Bhupathi and Prerna Arora to sell the rights to third parties through dummy companies.