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Bhansali Productions issues official notice, severs ties with Eros International over film rights dispute

Bhansali Productions and Eros Now are in the midst of an legal spat over the film rights of Goliyon Ki Rasleela - Ram Leela and Bajirao Mastani.

Bhansali Productions issues official notice, severs ties with Eros International over film rights dispute
  • Harshita Alok Sharma

Last Updated: 06.30 PM, Apr 07, 2021

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The Indian entertainment industry is well-versed with legal battles over film rights within different production houses. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bhansali Productions and Eros International are in a similar fix at the moment, warring over the rights of movies Goliyon Ki Rasleela - Ram Leela and Bajirao Mastani.

Both, Goliyon Ki Rasleela - Ram Leela and Bajirao Mastani, star Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in lead roles. Two of Bhansali’s highest grossing movies, are available for streaming on Eros Now, a video-on-demand entertainment and media platform which is a subsidiary of Eros International.

Disputes over the rights of the two films have persisted since October 2018, when Bhansali filed a plea at Bombay High Court to restrain Eros International from distributing, exploiting, licensing and renewing rights over Goliyon Ki Rasleela - Ram Leela. In May 2020, the Bombay High Court ordered Eros International to pay  ₹19.39 lakh as outstanding dues.

Bhansali took Eros International to court again in June 2020, to restrain Eros International from exploiting the rights of Bajirao Mastani. This was in response to an intimation filed by Eros International with Bombay Stock Exchange, citing an all-share merger with Eros International Plc and Hollywood’s STX Filmworks. Following this, Bhansali Productions challenged the intimation, claiming that the merger was being entered into using incorrect and misleading disclosures which stated that Eros had rights over Bajirao Mastani.

An official statement was issued by Bhansali Productions on April 8 with regards to the matter. It announced that the production house has terminated all ties with Eros International for the two movies.

“We at Bhansali Productions Private Limited vide our advocates letter dated 5th April 2021, have terminated agreements with EROS International Media Ltd. in relation to the Films “Goliyon Ki Rasleela- Ram Leela” and “Bajirao Mastani”. Consequently, all the rights granted by us to Eros International Media Ltd. stands revoked with effect from April 5, 2021. We hereby call upon all concerned to forthwith, cease and desist from exploiting, dealing with any rights of the above said Films in any manner whatsoever, whether directly or indirectly, with immediate effect”, declared the official statement.

Bajirao Mastani and Goliyon Ki Rasleela - Ram Leela are still available for streaming on Eros Now. Eros Now has not yet responded to the official statement released by Sanjay Leela Bhansali Productions.

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