Writer Rakesh Bharti had filed a lawsuit against director Meghna Gulzar and Deepika Padukone for their upcoming film Chhapaak, alleging that he and his son had acquired rights to bring the story of the acid attack survivor on the celluloid. In response to the allegation, Meghna has filed an affidavit against him at the Bombay High Court.
Meghna told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that information available in the public domain is not protected under the Copyright Act and urged the suit against her be dismissed, reported The Hindu.
Based on the story of real-life acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, Chhapaak revolves around Malti (Deepika) and her struggle to find justice after a man pours acid on her face for rejecting his proposal. Rakesh Bharti has claimed that he had registered their film under the name of Black Day in 2015. He also alleged that he had shared a copy of his script with Fox Star Studio, Ka Productions, and Mriga Films, but later he learned that the makers were making the film separately.
Bharti had filed a suit in the HC on December 26, demanding credit as a screenplay writer for the movie. He had also sought a temporary order and injunction from the court, restraining the entire team of the film from releasing and exhibiting it unless appropriate credit is given to him.
Meghna's affidavit reads, "Mr Bharti has no right in his favour to make any copyrightable work based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal. Copyright protection cannot be extended to information that constitutes facts available in public domain and is based on events that have factually transpired. Protection under the Copyright Act does not extend to ideas/concepts."
The matter will be heard by a Single Bench of Justice on Wednesday. The film is slated to release on January 10.
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