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Masud Rana-Kuasha series

Not Anwar Hossain, Abdul Hakim is original writer of over 300 books: HC

Published : 13 Dec 2021 10:09 PM | Updated : 14 Dec 2021 02:15 PM

The High Court (HC) has declared that copyright of over 300 books of thriller series ‘Masud Rana’ and ‘Kuasha’ series to ghostwriter Sheikh Abdul Hakim, not to Kazi Anwar Hossain.

The High Court made the declaration on Monday (December 13), dismissing a writ petition filed by Kazi Anwar Hossain, owner of Seba Prokashani in Dhaka. Kazi Anwar had filed the petition challenging the copyright office order that granted copyright of 260 books of thriller series ‘Masud Rana’ and 50 books of ‘Kuasha’ series to their original writer Sheikh Abdul Hakim.

The HC bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Iqbal Kabir Lytton upheld the order of Bangladesh Copyright Office after holding hearing on the petition.

Former Additional Attorney General Md Murad Reza and Barrister ABM Hamidul Misbah stood for the writ petitioner in the court, while Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan and Barrister Md Iftabul Kamal Ayon represented the Cultural Affairs Ministry and the copyright office during the hearing. Deputy Attorney General Amit Das Gupta represented the state during the hearing. 

On July 29 in 2018, Sheikh Abdul Hakim, who died on August 28 this year, filed a complaint to the Bangladesh Copyright Office against Kazi Anwar Hossain for violating the copyright law. 

On July 14 in 2020, the copyright office issued its order granting the copyright of the books to Sheikh Abdul Hakim. 

Later, Kazi Anwar Hossain had filed his writ petition challenging the order. On September 10 in 2020, the High Court stayed the order of the copyright office for one month.

The higher court had also issued a rule asking as to why the copyright office’s order won’t be declared illegal. Secretary of Cultural Affairs Ministry and registrar of the Bangladesh Copyright Office, among others, were made respondents to the rule.

Copyrights lawyer Iftabul Kamal told media that after the HC verdict, the copyright office’s order that granted the copyright of Masud Rana and Kuasha series books to their ghostwriter Sheikh Abdul Hakim would be upheld.

Layers Murad Reza and ABM Hamidul Misbah said that they would file an appeal against the HC order. 

They also said Sheikh Abdul Hakim had worked as a writer for Seba Prokashoni and wrote books for the organisation while receiving monthly salary. After retirement, he had submitted an application to the copyright office claiming that the copyright of books under both the series, which was also a violation of the law.

Earlier on June 15 in 2020, Jafor Raza Chowdhury, registrar of Bangladesh Copyright Office, said they conferred the copyright to ghostwriter Sheikh Abdul Hakim because beyond receiving a lump sum for writing the first book, he never received any royalty for any of the reprinting. 

There were no contracts at any point stating that Sheikh Abdul Hakim would not hold copyright, or that Abdul Hakim is being given a one-time payment for writing the books.

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