Writer Jyoti Kapoor has expressed her disappointment after her name was dropped as one of the co-writers of Badhaai Ho from the Filmfare Awards nominations list that released on March 13. Badhaai Ho, among several other categories, has also been nominated for Best Original Story with Akshat Ghildial and Shantanu Srivastava as the writers. Jyoti’s name isn’t mentioned in the nominees’ list and she, while speaking to a leading daily, said that she will be seeking legal action on the matter as her name appeared as a writer in the credits of the film.
"My name was included in the nominees' list on Wednesday morning, until it magically disappeared. I wrote to (the producers) Priti Shahani (president, Junglee Pictures), and Vineet Jain (MD, Times Group) requesting them to reinstate my name. But clearly, nothing has been done about it,” Jyoti told the daily.
[caption id="attachment_225319" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Neena Gupta as Priyamvada in Badhaai Ho[/caption]
Priti Shahani, meanwhile, spoke to the daily and said that Jyoti worked on the story initially but no part of it was used in the original concept of Badhaai Ho. Shantanu and Akshat had formulated the plot in 2012 and that was used for Badhaai Ho ultimately, Priti said, adding that Jyoti’s contract terminated in 2016.
"The agreement in the contract mentioned that if we use any part of her story or character, we will give her credit. However, it was never used. We decided to go forward with the story developed by Shantanu and Akshat. They have had the concept since 2012, and had been working independently on the same premise, with (director) Amit (Ravindernath Sharma),” Priti told the daily.
Priti, in fact, also added that Jyoti’s name doesn’t appear in the credit roll with that of the writers. Her name has been mentioned in “good faith” separately. "If you see the film, the story-credit has been divided between Shantanu and Akshat. Her name doesn't appear with my writers' names. She has been credited separately, in good faith. Badhaai Ho has nothing that was developed by Jyoti. It would be unfair to other writers if she wins laurels for what they essentially created,” she added.
[caption id="attachment_160553" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra in a still from Badhaai Ho[/caption]
Jyoti, on the other hand, dismissed Priti’s statement saying that she was hired before any other writer was brought on board and in fact, will seek legal advice on the matter. "I was hired a year before any other writer was brought on board. I am taking legal advice. Junglee Pictures have admitted in the theatrical credits that I am one of the story-writers. They can say whatever they want now, but legally speaking, you cannot retrospectively not be the writer, after the film has already released. Nobody in this industry gives credit in good faith,” Jyoti added.
Badhaai Ho casts Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao and Sanya Malhotra, in the lead roles. The film was a blockbuster at the box office and garnered accolades from critics.