Even as his latest film Dream Girl charts a success story at the box office, actor Ayushmann Khurrana’s upcoming film Bala has legal troubles to deal with.
Director Praveen Mochale has reportedly filed a case in the Bombay High Court accusing writer Niren Bhatt and Bala producer Maddock Films alleging they lifted the story from his screenplay. This is the second case of plagiarism against the film.
Praveen has three National awards for his credit for 2017’s Walking with the Wind. Bala, starring Ayushmann and directed by Amar Kaushik, is a funny take on the story of a balding man.
A Mumbai Mirror report claimed Praveen filed a case under the Copyright Act 1957, alleging that Bala’s story sounds similar to his screenplay that he has narrated to several people in the industry. “I read a news article on Bala being a satirical comedy about premature balding, which was an idea I had conceived in 2005. I worked on it for two years and registered the story with the Film Writers’ Association (FWA) in 2007. After compiling information from various sources, I have arrived at the conclusion that Bala is very similar to my story and screenplay,” it quoted him as saying.
Praveen, nonetheless, admitted that he has not met anyone associated with the film. “But the case isn’t about meeting or narrating the film to them. I’ve met hundreds of people and narrated my story to them, anyone could have put the idea in their minds. Since I have registered my concept and script, I can narrate it to as many people as I want, nobody can copy it,” he further told the tabloid, adding that the title of his script was Mr Yogi, and, much like Bala, it was a satirical comedy on the struggles and hardships faced in such situations.
Maddock Films, however, claimed they had no information about a case filed against them. “Maddock is not aware of any case being filed against it by Mr Morchhale and denies that he has anything to do with its film Bala. Nobody from Maddock has ever met with Mr Morchhale or is even aware of him being associated with a story of a bald man,” the daily quoted an official statement from the production house.
Earlier in March this year, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana assistant director Kamal Kant Chandra had filed a case in the Bombay High Court against Ayushmann, director Amar and producer Dinesh Vijan, accusing them of lifting the idea from his project, Wig.