Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar-winning movie, faces a Rs 5-crore defamation suit. The high court here has issued notices for a hearing on September 9. A Nakul Singh Nepali has sued its makers for allegedly wrongly crediting the 'Darshan do Ghanshyam' song to the blind poet Surdas.
Nepali claims his father, Gopal Singh, had written the song for the film Narsi Bhagat. He has filed a civil suit in the high court on grounds of defamation/loss of reputation of his father and the violation of an author's moral rights.
The suit has been filed against the producers Celador Films; its chairman Paul Smith, and managing director, Christian Calson; movie director Danny Boyle; screen play adaptor Simon Beaufay; Deep Emotions Publishing’s managing director Achille Forller and Universal Music Publishing Group.
Nepali has sought special damages of Rs 5 crore, with yearly interest at 21 per cent from the date the suit was filed until realisation.
Further, he wants a perpetual order of injunction restraining the defendants from further circulating, exhibiting, showing or distributing in any audio-visual format or by way of the Internet, the portion of the movie stating Surdas as author of the song. Or, to rework the scene or delete it.
Based on Vikram Swarup’s novel, Q and A, the movie shows the protagonist Jamal (Dev Patel) giving a wrong answer to the question, ‘Who has written the song ‘Darshan do Ghanshyam Mori Ankhiya Pyasi?’.
The case was listed for hearing in the high court today. The court directed the defendants to file their reply affidavits 9. Anoop Narayanan, a partner of the law firm Majmudar & Co, who represents the defendants, refused to talk about the likely outcome. “The matter is subjudice,” he said.