Makers of Ayushmann Khurrana’s and Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ defends writer Juhi Chaturvedi over accusation of script theft, issue statement

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Ayushmann Khurrana’s and Amitabh Bachchan’s upcoming film Gulabo Sitabo is one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country and the subsequent lockdown the film is releasing on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video on June 12. The film is directed by Shoojit Sircar and written by Juhi Chaturvedi. Recently, Juhi was accused of stealing the script of the film by screenwriter Rajeev Aggrawal’s son Akira, who had alleged that she copied the story written by his late father when he took part in a scriptwriting competition organized by the Screenwriters Association, of which Juhi was a judge. 

However, negating his claims, the makers of Gulabo Sitabo, Rising Sun Films has issued a statement on the inaccurate copyright claims on the script. The statement reads, “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 scriptwriting contest organizers 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.” 

RECOMMENDED READ: Gulabo Sitabo: When Ayushmann Khurrana finally broke Amitabh Bachchan's 'Deewar'; watch BTS video

The statement further reads, “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.”

Akira had informed the Screenwriters Association about the matter and the SWA had asked Juhi to show them the script. Akira’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui claimed that Rajeev’s script was copied during the scriptwriting competition. Reportedly, he has sent a legal notice to the makers and has demanded to see the script. Akira had also filed a complaint at Mumbai’s Juhu Police Station in this matter.

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