CCI orders top cop to probe violence over 'Satyadev IPS'

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered the state police chief, R K Dutta, to investigate the vandalisation of theatres and protests by the Kannada Okkuta, KFCC president Sa Ra Govindu, actor Jaggesh and politician Vatal Nagaraj following the release of the dubbed film, ‘Satyadev IPS’, on March 3, 2017.

Disposing of a petition by G Krishnamurthy, who had bought the rights from M/s Sai Creations on May 3, 2016, to dub Tamil film ‘Yennai Arindhaal’ in Kannada, the CCI ordered the DG&IGP to investigate the case and submit an action taken report within 60 days.

In the petition, Krishnamurthy argued that the respondents’ actions violated Section 19(1) (a) of the Competition Act, 2002, and demanded action against them.

The CCI felt it is a case fit for the police investigation.

According to Krishnamurthy, 22 out of the 28 theatres that agreed to show the film confirmed the exhibition. But Jaggesh “instigated” violence by tweeting against the film’s release while Vatal Nagaraj and Govindu also joined the opposition bandwagon. The tweets and statements created tension. Five theatres backed out of showing the film. The film was shown only in 17 theatres, he added.

Supporters of Jaggesh, Vatal Nagaraj and Govindu vandalised Rupam theatre in Hubballi. The violence further discouraged exhibitors. As a result, only nine theatres showed it, but even they did not run it for 28 shows as agreed.

Krishnamurthy said he incurred huge losses and suffered mental agony because of the violence. He now wants the CCI to restrain Jaggesh, Vatal Nagaraj and Govindu and their supporters from violating the Competition Act or restricting the release of ‘Dheera’, which has been dubbed into Kannada from the Tamil film, ‘Araambham’.

Krishnamurthy has purchased the dubbing rights in Kannada. He said he filed an application before the Central Board of Film Certification on June 30, which was still being processed (because the CBFC doesn’t have any Kannada-speaking member).


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