Director AR Murugadoss, whose last film was Rajinikanth’s Darbar, has filed a petition with the Madras High Court seeking police protection. The case is expected to come up for hearing by Justice Rajamanickam on Thursday.
The director claimed that about 30 to 40 distributors have been hounding him daily, allegedly seeking compensation for incurring losses from distributing Darbar. He submitted a petition with the Chennai Police Commissioner seeking police protection. When the police did not take swift action, he escalated his petition to the court.
In his petition, the director claimed that over 25 unidentified persons entered his office premises on February 3 and “created a fear psychosis on his staff who were present there and used filthy language.” Another 15 of them allegedly stood outside his residence and started shouting his name in addition to hurling abuses.
“It is submitted that the unidentified persons entered upon with intent to commit an offence and to intimidate, insult and annoy the Petitioner and thereby they have committed criminal trespass and for this reason the Petitioner’s office and residence should be given sufficient police protection,” reads the rest of his petition.
Murugadoss further stated in his petition that “unidentified persons” were giving interviews to various TV channels with an intent of spoiling his reputation.
He has also highlighted in his petition that he is only the film’s director and is unaware of its theatrical, distribution or satellite rights.
Darbar, which starred Rajinikanth and Nayanthara in the lead, was released ahead of Pongal this year. The film also had Bollywood star Suniel Shetty in the star cast along with Prateik Babbar, Nivetha Thomas and Yogi Babu in supporting roles.
Lyca Productions, the film’s producer, claimed that the film had grossed a record collection of Rs 150 crore during its first weekend. Darbar was released in 7,000 screens worldwide on January 9.
Just days after the film’s release, Lyca Productions lodged a complaint with the police, seeking action against those engaging in piracy, making and sharing illegal copies of the movie. The producer stated that the movie was made by investing a huge sum of money and that the piracy campaign was intended to ensure that the producers incurred losses.
Months after the release of his pervious film, Sarkar, starring Vijay, an FIR was filed against Murugadoss based on a complaint by a man named Devarajan, who claimed that the film instigated violence. Sarkar was critical of the AIADMK government’s freebie scheme and had scenes in which the director himself appeared briefly, and was seen throwing out appliances granted as part of the scheme.
When the case was heard, the Madras High Court stated that no action can be taken against the director and pointed out that in a democracy people were allowed to comment on the government’s schemes.