Days after receiving a legal notice over infringement of copyrights, producers of Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha have denied allegations made by Manini filmmaker Praveen Vyas.
According to a report filed by Mumbai Mirror, Vyas had sent a legal notice to the production company, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, on June 15, alleging them of copying several scenes and dialogues from his award winning documentary Manini.
As the trailer suggests, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha revolves around a newly-wed woman, portrayed by actress Bhumi Pednekar, who protest against open defecation after she is woken up before sunrise by her in-laws on the first day of her marriage. She then also fights for building a toilet at her maternal house.
But Vyas claims that the producers of the upcoming film have copied the concept of his short film Manini, which was also based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharat' Mission.
Here's a scene from Manini which is similar to that of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha:
The filmmaker, who had reportedly appealed for a stay order on the film, has been quoted as saying “It’s plot was novel and the characters unique and my docu-feature was commended for its creativity and treatment. No one can make another cinematographic work or any other derivative work without my written consent if their work directly resembles mine.”
Denying the allegations made by Vyas, the co-producers of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha said, “These allegations are baseless and border on harassment. The script of our film has been registered under our writers’ names, Siddharth and Garima, with the authorised industry association since 2013. Furthermore, the film has been in the public domain through various news stories since July 2015. We firmly deny all the claims made by this gentleman who is obviously misled. It is sad that genuine producers have become soft targets for this kind of nuisance.”
Team Manini is now reportedly contemplating taking the matter to court.
“Since they have denied all our allegations and refused to monetarily compensate us for the origin of idea and script, we will now be fighting this in court,” Manini screenplay writer, Shanker Arnimesh told Mumbai Mirror.
After winning the third prize at the International Film Festival of India in Goa, the documentary film Manini, released in 2016, had received a certification of appreciation by I&B Minister of State, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Here's the trailer of Toilet Ek Prem Katha, which will be released on August 11:
(Feature Image Source: YouTube)