Friday, June 18, 2010

Pirated Raajneeti' lands BJP in a soup

JAIPUR: Already under media glare over corralling of MLAs, the state BJP on Wednesday found itself surrounded by yet another controversy, this time for watching pirated version of Prakash Jha's Raajneeti' at the hotel where party legislators have been herded for the last two days.
A city resident, Yogendra Singh, has filed a complaint against the party's chief whip in the assembly Rajendra Rathore, the hotel owner and others for the unauthorised screening of the film at the hotel on Tuesday. Filmmaker Prakash Jha has also threatened legal action. He told TOI that the legal cell at his office was looking into the "pros and cons of sueing the offenders of the law" (state BJP leaders).
The MLAs watched the movie at a private hotel situated on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway, where they are all corralled, on Tuesday afternoon. They have been kept there under the supervision of the senior leaders in run up to the Thursday's Rajay Sabha polls in which party-supported candidate Ram Jethmalani is walking a tightrope.
As the movie producers have not yet released the DVD in the market, there is no doubt that the one used for the screening was pirated.
"It is a very unfortunate incident. The lawmakers are themselves turning into lawbreakers," said Jha, while talking to TOI over phone. Jha said he would have loved to arrange a special screening for senior leaders like Ram Jethmalani and Vasundhara Raje, had they approached him. "I would have personally taken care of it, but this is not expected of them," fumed Jha, adding his lawyers were contemplating legal action.
Meanwhile, Yogendra Sharma filed a complaint in a local court in the city against the BJP leaders and the hotel owner for using the pirated DVD. He alleged that when he tried to lodge a complaint with the Muhana police, his request was turned down due to "influence" of the people involved. The court will take up the matter on Thursday.
A resident of Vidhyadhar Nagar, Singh approached CJM, district court on Wednesday. "We have filed a case in the court against Rajendra Rathore, owner of Hotel Greens situated in Muhana Mandi Ramakant Sharma, its general manager, and others,'' said Singh's lawyer A K Jain.
The complainant told the court that he saw the news about screening of the film at Hotel Greens on some TV channels. "It was clear that the screening was illegal. How can the movie be shown like this? The hotel owner did not have any permission and used a pirated CD for the screening. It happened in front of lawmakers," said Jain.
The complainant has alleged violation of Section 10 of The Rajasthan Video Films (Regulation of Exhibition) Act, 1990, Section 63 of Copywrite Act, Section 65 of IT Act and 120B of IPC.
However, the BJP leaders have pleaded ignorance about the the pirated DVD. "It was the hotel staff that organised the screening for us. How are we supposed to know the DVD was pirated?" says Rathore. Senior BJP MLA Dr Digambar Singh said: "How in the world does one expect us to know which DVD is released in the market and which is not? We don't keep a track of these things."

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