Not even a week to go for the Direct to Digital premiere of Gulabo Sitabo on Amazon Prime Video, and its writer Juhi Chaturvedi has been slapped with a legal notice and police complaint for allegedly copying the script of the movie from a late writer’s script.
Late screenwriter Rajeev Aggrawal’s son Akira Aggarwal has made the grave accusation that Juhi Chaturvedi copied the story of Gulabo Sitabo from a screenplay written by his late father. Akira has alleged that Juhi stole the story that was originally written by Rajeev Aggarwal. Aggarwal had apparently submitted the script to a screenwriting competition held by the Screenwriters Association (SWA), one of whose judges was Juhi Chaturvedi.
Besides lodging a complaint with the SWA, Akira Aggarwal has also filed a police complaint at the Juhu Police Station, and sent a legal notice to Juhi Chaturvedi and the makers of Gulabo Sitabo, through his lawyer, Advocate Rizwan Siddiqui. Shoojit Sircar, producer and director of Gulabo Sitabo, spoke up on behalf of Juhi Chaturvedi, “To begin with, Juhi’s concept for the film was registered in 2018, much before the contest. Furthermore, Juhi never received a copy of the supposedly copied script. This has been independently confirmed by the script writing contest organisers as well. Lastly, our film’s story is different from that sent out in the notice. It is surprising how grave allegations are being made solely on the basis of a 2 minute 41 second trailer.”
He continued, “On May 29th, SWA ruled in favour of Juhi. Clearly the allegers are upset as the SWA decision didn’t go in their favor. Releasing the notice to the press, harassing us on social media, seems to be a deliberate attempt to malign Juhi and damage the film. We have full faith in our film. At this time, when we have taken the bold decision to release the film on OTT, these baseless allegations only create unnecessary controversy. We request the press to stand by us and condemn the behavior of these allegers and their lawyer for resorting to such tactics only for press, limelight and ulterior motives.”
Gulabo Sitabo is the first big ticket Bollywood movie to opt for a Direct To Digital release in the midst of the Coronavirus lockdown and theatres’ shutdown. Starring superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana, Gulabo Sitabo is slated to release on Amazon Prime Video on 12th June.
Stay tuned to Binged.com for further news on the copyright allegations against Gulabo Sitabo.