New Delhi: The recent feud between Ajay Devgn and Yash Raj films ahead of the release of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ and ‘Son of Sardaar’ has created a lot of ripples, but very few know that what exactly is the point of tussle between the two parties? Thus, we have come up with a timeline of the issue that will systematically make you aware about the real bone of contention.
One needs to know the meaning of Competition Commission of India (CCI) before going into the details of the problem. CCI is a Government of India body that monitors the Competition Act of 2002. This act was made to prevent activities that can have an unwanted effect on competition in India.
Ajay Devgn, who is among the producers of ‘Son of Sardaar’, moved to CCI and claimed that Yash Raj Films (Promoters of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’) is using its dominant market position to pressurise the film exhibitors to give more and more screens to ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, which is releasing on the same date with ‘Son of Sardaar’.
YRF had claimed to have booked less than 1,500 single screens out of the 10,500-plus single screens available.
Shah Rukh Khan, who is the male lead of ‘JTHJ’, kept himself away from the tussle and said in a press conference, “I was reading about it. There are enough screens. These are all legal matters and thankfully it's not my production company.
When asked about his rivalry with Ajay Devgn, he said, “I have nothing against anyone. I have no problem with anyone.”
On another occasion, SRK called the argument silly, “Instead of being disheartened, it is silly, it is not just right. I don't know how it gets resolved. Is someone going to tell me not to release my film on Friday.”
The actor further added, “I don't understand it... I find it very strange rather than disheartening. What is the meaning of all this? The film is coming out, let's pray for each other's film. I think both the movies will do well.”
Ajay Devgn also gave interviews and quotes regarding the dispute where he expressed his displeasure over the issue and said, “I had filed the complaint much before the demise of Yash Chopra. When this happened I was like people are going to target me and nobody is going to understand my point of view... I was a villain on both sides. I couldn't withdraw it (notice) from the Competition Commission... It is not a normal court.”
YRF in a statement had claimed to have booked less than 1,500 single screens out of the 10,500-plus single screens available on all-India basis.
"We would like to clarify at the outset that we still haven't received any notice from the commission and will suitably represent our stance if and when called upon to do so," the statement had said.
However, shedding light on the number of screens available to ADF, Ajay said out of the total 10,000 screens only a handful of them were given to Son of Sardaar.
"Out of the 10,000 screens if they have booked 1,500 and I have 8,000 screens then am I fool to spend money and lose my reputation and go to court. It does not make sense logically. Secondly going by the statistics then out of the 10,000-12,000 screens more than 5,000-6,000 are in South where only regional films release," he said.
"Then in the remaining 4,000-4,500 screens 1,500–2,000 are closed... Those which are operational are less. For example in Dadar there are about seven single screen theatres they have booked six, in Delhi there are 21 single screens we have three.. This is something that has never happened before.. You can verify it," he added.
Later, the Competition Commission of India rejected the complaint from actor Ajay Devgn against Yash Raj Films saying that the plea does not have any merit. "The Commission has rejected the complaint of Ajay Devgn against Yash Raj Films as there was no merit in it. The complaint does not fall under any area that violates Competition rules," said a senior official of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The fair trade regulator has not found any violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act that relates to anti-competitive agreements.
Following the rejection from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Ajay Devgn Films (ADF) approached the Competition Apellate Tribunal. "We are shocked by the rejection of our legitimate case by the CCI. We have approached the appellate tribunal against the order," an Ajay Devgn Films spokesperson said in a statement.
The Competition Appellate Tribunal refused to stay the screening of ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ produced by Yash Raj Films but issued notices to the production house on Ajay Devgn's plea over alleged abuse of dominant position.
Now both the parties are gearing up for their grand release on November 13. If reports are to be believed then we are going to witness a similar dispute before the release of ‘Talaash’ and ‘Khiladi 786’. (With inputs from PTI and IANS)