Kyunki case: Star Plus wins over Balaji Telefilms

The Bombay high court has dismissed Balaji Telefilms’ petition against a termination notice issued by Star Plus kyunki it accepted the channel’s stand that “viewer fatigue” had set in for the long-running saas-bahu serial.

Unless Balaji goes in appeal and gets some relief, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahi Thi could well be off air after the next three prime-time episodes, ending Thursday. The HC refused to stay its order.

Vacation judge Justice J H Bhatia took four episodes’ worth of time to hear the matter on Monday before holding in favour of Star TV. Balaji had engaged legal giant Ram Jethmalani as its counsel but the judge accepted the channel’s argument that it would face an “irreparable loss” if the eight year-old serial was allowed to continue despite fallen TRPs.

The family drama produced by actor Jitendra’s wife Shobha Kapoor and daughter Ekta had launched the career of many TV stars. Last month, Star TV had issued a termination notice to Balaji to change the story line for Kyunki… and end it by November 10. Balaji dragged Star to court saying the termination was uncalled for and violated their agreement.

Jethmalani said the clause governing fall in TRPs as a condition to terminate the contract should be based on TRPs from August end and not July as was done.

Maharashtra’s advocate general Ravi Kadam, counsel for Star TV, took the court through the agreement signed between the channel and Balaji and said Jethmalani had sought to “put a gloss” on the agreement by arguing quite to the contrary of what producer Kapoor has submitted on oath.

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