'Teesri Kasam' lands Bihar govt in trouble

Copyright issues

'Teesri Kasam' lands Bihar govt in trouble

Forty-seven years after it won the national award, the Raj Kapoor-Waheeda Rehman-starrer “Teesri Kasam” is mired in a controversy in Bihar.

The movie, produced by Shailendra, is being screened in all the 38 districts in Bihar by the state’s rural development department, with advertisements in between that talks about the rural health and development schemes launched by the Nitish regime.But the filmmaker’s family and the government are now at loggerheads over the ownership of the classic made in 1966.  

The surviving kin of Shailendra, including two sons and two daughters, have termed the screening of the movie, without their approval, illegal. They have sent a legal notice to the government seeking a compensation of Rs 15 crore for screening more than 3,000 illegal shows of the movie.

They claim that they hold the original copyrights of the film and that the Nitish regime screened the movie without either informing them or taking their permission. “We have sent a legal notice to the Bihar government for screening the movie in the state without even informing us, let alone taking our permission, and have sought a compensation of Rs 15 crore,” said Shailendra’s youngest son, Dinesh Shankar Shailendra.

The whole controversy started when Nitish Kumar launched a campaign in March to promote rural development schemes of his government and screened “Teesri Kasam” through 115 mobile vans across the 38 districts.

However, the Nitish regime claims to have purchased the film in 1979. “We have received a notice from Shailendra’s family. But their claim is not true. The state’s Information and Public Relations Department (IPRD) had purchased the film in 1979. Therefore, the purchase rights of the film are with the government, and hence we have been screening the movie. Anyway, we will respond to their letter,” said IPRD Durgesh Nandan.

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