Vijay’s Varisu in Legal Trouble for Using Elephants Without Permission From Authorities

Thalapathy Vijay’s upcoming film Varisu, directed by Vamshi Paidipallu, has been making news ever since it was announced. After the critical and financial disappointment with Vijay’s previous film Beast, Varisu has a lot riding on it. The film is already going to face tough competition from Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu which is slated for release on the same day. However, it looks like that is far from what the makers need to worry about.

The team of Varisu have landed in a legal controversy after a show cause notice was served to them by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). The notice alleges that the makers of Varisu used five elephants during its filming without obtaining the mandatory permissions required to use animals in films.

The AWBI issued the notice to Hyderabad-based Venkateswara Creations, which is bankrolling the film, for utilising elephants without the pre-shoot clearance from the Board in response to a private complaint. The notice states that the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 have been violated by the makers.

“Elephants are protected under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and obtaining prior permission for using performing animals in films is mandatory as per Rule 7(2) of the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001,” the notice says.

The Board has given the production house 7 days to respond to the notice and explain the violation, failing which it will take further action as per the rules of the board. Usually, for the animals used in the film, the animal welfare board doctor examines the animal and issues a letter of approval based on the findings.

Varisu is a departure from the usual action persona Vijay is known for and is a drama film that also stars Rashmika Mandanna and R Sarathkumar among others.

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