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Naik granted 2nd CCI interim order in Reliance v Karnataka Film Chamber saga new twist

Breaking news exclusive: Naik Paranjpe & Company has yet again successfully turned to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for a Reliance film company, having secured an interim order restraining arch-nemesis Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) from allegedly directing its members to boycot Reliance MediaWorks multiplex theatres in Bangalore and the state.

Naik Paranjpe alleged on behalf of its client that the KFCC was abusing its dominant position by directing its members from distributing their films to the cinemas operated in Karnataka by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance MediaWorks.

“The counsel for the informant [Reliance] emphatically submitted that due to threats and dictates issued by the opposite party association, the distributors are not supplying the films to the informant for exhibition,” noted the CCI in its ruling in case 45/2010 yesterday (9 September).

The CCI held that there was a prima facie case for the CCI’s director general to conduct an investigation into the matter. "The CCI therefore restrained the KFCC “from abusing its dominant position as prohibited by Section 4 of the Competition Act by imposing any restrictions in relation to supply of prints of the films to the Complainant, including the restriction imposed for supply of prints of the film ‘Lafangey Parindey’ which is scheduled for release on 20th August, 2010”.

The order would remain effective until 21 September 2010 and the matter would be listed on that date for hearing, ruled the CCI.

Naik had instructed senior counsel Ashwini Matta, with Naik managing partner Ameet Naik, assisted by Ravi Suryawanshi, and advocates Rishi Agarwal and Harsh Jha.

Counsel Ratnam and Buddy Ranganathan appeared for the KFCC.

Reliance Big approached the CCI last month, according to the Economic Times on 29 August.

The KFCC had also allegedly tried to prevent the Karnataka release of Reliance Big’s movie Raavan in June against which Reliance was granted an interim CCI order in its favour at the time.

The KFCC has now challenged that order into the Karnataka High Court, questioning the legality of the commission’s order, according to local publication The Mangalorean.

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