Rajinikanth’s ‘Lingaa’ faces legal trouble

Rajinikanth’s highly anticipated film ‘Lingaa’ has got embroiled in unwanted controversy. Last Wednesday the Madras High Court has admitted a petition filed by K R Ravi Rathinam that alleges, storyline of the film ‘Lingaa’ is stolen from another film. He has appealed for a stay on the release of the film.  According to K R Ravi Rathinam, the director and producer of Rajini’s film has ‘stolen’ the story of a film called ‘Mullai Vanam 999’ that he is producing. He sought from the court, an order to the concerning authorities to conduct an enquiry to "find the true authorship and ownership of the single storyline" that is common in the two films.

Justice M Venugopal of the High Court’s Madurai bench has given instructions to issue notice to the Secretary of the Information and Broadcasting ministry and other officials. Petitioner’s counsel informed that apart from the director and producers of ‘Lingaa’, lead actor Rajinikanth’s name has also been added as a respondent because he has acquired the distribution rights of the film.

 K R Ravi Rathinam has claimed in his petition that he held the pooja ritual for his film on 24th February, 2014. He also posted a video on popular video sharing site YouTube. He alleges that the makers of ‘Lingaa’ stole the storyline after seeing the video on YouTube. ‘Mullai Vanam 999’ is scheduled to release during the Tamil New Year while ‘Lingaa’ is slated to release on Rajinikanth’s birthday 12th December. The petitioner feels that this occurrence will result in making his “future dark forever.” He also mentioned that he has been working in the industry for 47 years. 

‘Lingaa’ is the second high profile film in recent times to get embroiled in story line controversy. Recently the super hit film ‘Kaththi’ starring Vijay faced similar allegations. A struggling film director named Minjur Gopi filed complaint against the film’s director AR Murugadoss accusing him of stealing the story. He also posted a video on social media sites in which he accuses Murugadoss. However the case he filed in Chennai’s City Civil court was dismissed. Later he filed another petition but withdrew it last Wednesday. The reason for this is not clear. When asked, Gopi said, "This is just one of the legal proceedings and I do not want to disclose my next move as that will alert my opponent.”  Murugadoss in turn has filed a defamation suit on Gopi.