Bombay HC puts children's magazine Chandamama for sale; owners still under arrest

At least 6,000 hand-illustrated stories, of Chandamama, 36 fictional characters, 640 episodes of duo Vikram-Vetal and other documents pertaining to patents and copyright of the magazine continue to be stored in a warehouse in Mumbai

FP Staff January 17, 2019 11:14:31 IST
Bombay HC puts children's magazine Chandamama for sale; owners still under arrest
  • Chandamama was launched in 1947 and quickly went on to become a favourite enjoying a wide readership until the digital revolution

  • It was founded by B Nagi Reddy and Chakrapani, and was taken over by Geodesic in 2004 after it ran into financial trouble

  • Directors of Geodesic currently face allegations of money laundering and siphoning of funds

Intellectual property rights of the Chennai-based children's magazine Chandamama, that was off the stands after its owner Geodesic Ltd shut shop in 2014, are up for grabs following an order by the Bombay High Court, the Indian Express reported. As directors of the firm face allegations of money laundering and siphoning of funds, the proceeds of the sale will be deposited by the Enforcement Directorate with the special court established under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Bombay HC puts childrens magazine Chandamama for sale owners still under arrest

Stories and illustrations in the children's magazine Chandamama. Image via Facebook @ Chandamama Telugu Kathalu

Chandamama was launched in 1947 and quickly went on to become a favourite, enjoying a wide readership until the digital revolution of the 21st century. Founded by B Nagi Reddy and Chakrapani, Geodesic came on the scene only in 2004, the report added, after reduced subscriptions and advertising revenue led the magazine into financial trouble. Around 2010, the software company re-launched Chandamama with a new design, according to a Print Week, and also undertook the task of digitising its illustrations and stories. Geodesic had also launched the magazine on the iOS platformMedianama wrote, with an app that would let users buy and download monthly issues of the English edition.

However, the Indian Express report said that in June 2014, the official liquidator of the Bombay High Court took possession of the company's assets after the firm failed to pay $162 million (nearly Rs 1,000 crore) to its Foreign Currency Convertible Bond (FCCB) holders in April 2014.

Another report by the Indian Express had also stated that as top officials of the firm continue to be under arrest, at least 6,000 hand-illustrated stories, 36 fictional characters, 640 episodes of duo Vikram-Vetal and other documents pertaining to patents and copyright of the magazine continue to be stored in a warehouse in Mumbai. Chandamama has acquired cult status over time and has been popular among children for its stories about Indian mythology, the Vikram-Vetal duo and other moral fables.

The first issue of the magazine was published in Telugu and Tamil and towards the 1990s, the illustrated work expanded to include 13 languages such as Hindi, Sindhi, Sinhala and Sanskrit among others.

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