Karnataka High Court issues contempt of court notice to Congress leaders for using KGF Chapter 2 music in Bharat Jodo Yatra

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The Karnataka High Court on Thursday issued notice to Indian National Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh and Supriya Shrinate in a contempt petition for using music from the film KGF Chapter 2 during the Bharat Jodo Yatra campaign without permission. [M/S MRT Music v. Rahul Gandhi & Ors]
A Bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Ashok S Kinagi passed the order in a contempt of court plea filed by MRT Music, which owned the rights to the music of the film.

The matter will be taken up next on January 12, 2023.

On October 29, the complainant music company learnt that the Congress party was using sound recordings and audio visual songs from KGF Chapter 2 for promoting their Bharat Jodo Yatra political campaign.

It was further alleged that music from the film was used in marketing videos created by the accused, who shared them on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc.

Subsequently, MRT filed a copyright infringement suit as well as a criminal complaint, on the basis of which a first information report (FIR) was registered.

On November 7, while hearing the copyright suit, an Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge at Bengaluru ordered a local commissioner to visit the Congress party website, conduct an electronic audit and preserve the infringing materials available on their social media. The judge also granted an injunction in favour of MRT.

Shrinate then immediately challenged this order before the High Court on November 8.

The High Court had directed the Congress party to remove the offending content from its social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

However, MRT noted that the content was still there on the Congress party’s social media handles. It thus filed the present contempt plea, stating that the accused leaders have not complied with the order of the High Court.

“It is respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble High Court may be pleased to initiate appropriate action and/or proceedings for wilful disobedience and breach of the order dated 08th of November, 2022,” stated the plea.

The Court then proceeded to issue notice to the Congress party.

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