Mumbai: Sahara TV's much-advertised mega serial, Karishma: A Miracle of Destiny, which was to be telecast on the channel from 12 May 2003, has been put under a stay order following the filing of a copyright infringement suit against Sahara Media Entertainment by American novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Barbara Bradford and Robert Bradford of New York have filed the case in the Calcutta High Court, as petitioners against Sahara Media, Aakashdeep Sabir, Sachin Bowmik and others (respondents).
It was stated that the petitioner held the copyright for the novel and nobody has been authorised for making or producing any serial or film based on the novel and further that the petitioner was surprised to learn that her novel, A Woman of Substance, was being serialised in India.
It was alleged in the suit that the respondents had made a teleserial based on the novel under the name Karishma for the purpose of being telecast on Sahara TV. It was also alleged that Sabir has confirmed that the serial was based on the said novel.
Sahara network, meanwhile, is getting ready to fight the stay brought on by the copyright infringement suit but has also put current promotions on hold in view of the fact that the first episode of the "biggest television series ever" may not be telecast.
Bhowmick, whose name appears as the scriptwriter of the serial, sticks to his stand that Karishma is an original piece of work and he has its copyright. In recent days Sahara TV has been going on an advertising blitzkrieg of Karishma with massive hoardings, painted trains, tie-ups and print campaigns launched in major metros and mini-metros.
The heavily advertised serial, which was touted as having achieved a casting coup by getting reigning Bollywood queen to star in it, will, now, not be telecast on 12 May. Karishma Kapoor is said to be charging Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) for 260 episodes on Sahara TV. In the soap Kapoor plays a double role spanning three generations, from a 22-year-old girl into a 67-year-old grandmother.