‘Gulabo Sitabo’ writer Juhi Chaturvedi accused of plagiarism; makers call allegations ‘baseless’
Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana starrer ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ is all set to release on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video on June 12. Ahead of its release, writer Juhi Chaturvedi has been accused by late writer Rajeev Agarwal’s son, Akira, of plagiarising his father’s story for the movie, as per a report in PTI. The production house has called the allegations “baseless.” The movie is backed by Rising Sun Films.
Akira’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee claimed that Rajeev had submitted his story in ‘Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest’ in March 2018 where Juhi was a jury member. The story was shortlisted. On June 28 the same year, the final script was also submitted for the contest and all jury members had full access to the same, said Siddiquee. The lawyer further said that when Akira saw the trailer of the movie, he was shocked to find similarities between ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ and his father’s story. He claimed the story, background and theme of the movie looked similar to his father’s script.
Rising Sun Films issued a statement saying that Juhi’s concept for ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ was registered in 2018, much before the contest.
The statement read: “Furthermore, Juhi never received a copy of the supposedly copied script. This has been independently confirmed by the script writing contest organisers as well. 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.”
Siddiquee said Akira approached Screenwriters Association (SWA) for mediation and asked Juhi to submit her script but she denied that she had access to the script, even though it was mentioned in the terms and conditions of Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest.
Siddiquee said in a statement, “In all fairness, she was still called upon to submit her work for verification and authentication, however she refuses to do so, despite lapse of more than 12 days. Also, she is being extremely evasive and lying on records, thereby denying apparent facts as seen in the trailer of ‘Gulabo Sitabo’.”
According to Rising Sun Films, the SWA ruled in favour of Juhi on May 29.
Their statement further read, “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.”
Siddiquee said that a police complaint against Juhi Chaturvedi, Shoojit Sircar and the production house for ‘breach of trust, cheating and copyright infringement’ has been filed.