By S.S. Selvanayagam
The Colombo District Court yesterday extended the Enjoining Order till 6 August against the decision of the National Film Corporation to allow it to distribute films.
The Plaint filed by the private film distributors E.A.P. Films and Theatres Ltd., Movie Producers and Importers Ltd., Lanka Film Distributors Company Ltd. and Cinema Entertainment Ltd. citing the National Film Corporation as Defendant yesterday came up before District Judge R.P.D.P.P. Ratnayake.
Three Intervenient Petitions filed by Sri Lanka Cinema Directors Forum, the President and the Secretary of Associations of Actors as well Rohan Welivita and Eranga Senaratne objecting the Enjoining Order was also taken up.
Deputy Solicitor General Sumathi Dharmawardane appearing for the Attorney General contended that the Court had no jurisdiction to issue an Enjoining Order in view of the National Film Corporation Act.
Counsel S.A. Parathalingam appearing for the Petitioners countered and maintained that the Court had the jurisdiction as the National Film Corporation had acted mala fide (in bad faith).
The Court directed all parties to file Written Submission of the Question of Jurisdiction.
President’s Counsel S.A. Parathalingam with N.R. Sivendran and Achini Ranasinghe instructed by Anoma Goonetilleke appeared for the Plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs state it was brought to the notice of the Cabinet that the monopoly over the entire local cinema industry which was in the hands of the National Film Corporation has not proved effective both in formulating policies to meet new developments and in the management of distribution of local films and other related activities.
They plead a Cabinet decision was taken in regard to the handing over the distribution of films to the private sector.
They state consequent to the applications made by them, written agreement were entered. They also state the National Film Corporation under the ‘Rithma’ distribution equally distributes films islandwide to the various theatres and there are 61 theatres under the ‘Rithma’ distribution.