Harry Potter Theme Durga Puja Pandal in Kolkata in Legal Trouble



Copyright infringement has been slapped on a Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata modeled on Hogwarts castle in Harry Potter. The Pandal is coming up at FD Block in Salt Lake, Kolkata, West Bengal.

A Pandal is a temporary structure erected during Pujas and celebrations in India. The most famous Pandals are those erected during Ganesh festival and Durga Puja. Usually, the pandals are based on a theme and will have images of deities and space for worship.

The complaint of copyright infringement has been filed in Delhi High Court and in the name of the plaintiff; the name given is that of J.K. Rowling and others. The puja committee and the decorators have to appear in person on Friday before the court. It looks like Penguin, distributor of Harry Potter books in India, had filed the case.

The Telegraph Calcutta reports

The 394-page summons, delivered to the puja committee by a Sealdah court official, states that the defendants can carry out the puja with a Harry Potter theme by paying Rs 20 lakh (2 million Indian rupees).

Nirmalya Roychowdhury, the regional sales manager of Penguin India, says “I don’t know if the organizers of the puja took permission to use the name of a very popular character. For using anything related to Harry Potter, written permission is necessary from an appropriate authority. Otherwise, legal action can be taken.”

The Durga Puja Pandal of FD Block in Salt Lake, Kolkata, is usually based on a theme. When ‘Titanic’ movie became huge hit in India, the committee had set up a model of Titanic.

Update: Delhi High Court on Friday gave the go-ahead to the FD Block puja in Salt Lake. The court observed that dismantling the pandal would mean interfering with the Durga Puja. The organizers also informed the court that they were a non-profit organization and the court upheld this view.

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