Sahara skein forced off the air again

Judges rule serial ceases until court makes decision

NEW DELHI — Sahara Media Entertainment was forced to pull the series “Karishma” on Monday after the Calcutta High Court ordered the 260-episode Hindi-language drama off the air until it decides on an appeal from author Barbara Taylor Bradford, who claims the series plagiarizes one of her novels.

The case is a rare attempt to take action over plagiarism against India’s massive entertainment industry, which routinely “borrows” storylines from Hollywood and English-language literature.

“Karishma” went on the air in early May but was taken off after the first episode when Bradford won a stay order from India’s Supreme Court. On June 30, the Calcutta High Court gave the go-ahead for the serial’s screening.

But the appeal bench of two judges, A. N. Roy and Jayotosh Banerjee, ruled that the serial could not continue until the court decided on Bradford’s petition.

The court said it wants to watch episodes of the serial and has asked Bradford to produce a copy of “A Woman of Substance,” the novel she said was plagiarized.

Sahara Media Entertainment had hoped “Karishma” would be a major success, as it features some of Bollywood’s best known stars, including actress Karishma Kapoor.

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