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Court Asks PK Makers to Respond to Allegations of Plagiarism

Court Asks PK Makers to Respond to Allegations of Plagiarism


Raj Kumar Hirani

The Delhi High Court today sought response from the producers and directors of PK, starring Aamir Khan, on a plea by a novelist accusing the makers of lifting certain portions from his book Farishta published in 2013.

Justice Najmi Waziri asked novelist Kapil Isapuri and the counsel appearing for filmmakers Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Raj Kumar Hirani whether it possible that two individuals got the same idea at same time.

“Divine nature has given us such senses that two individuals can in fact get a same idea at the same time,” the judge said.

The court also asked the petitioner what would be the outcome of his plea at a juncture when the movie had been released and successfully screened all over the country and how he planned to pursue the matter.

Mr Isapuri’s counsel said that he would be able to pursue the matter once the respondents filed their replies.

The counsel for the filmmakers argued that according to the custom and practice in Bollywood, the script of the movie was first registered with the Writers Association in Mumbai on July 29, 2010 with the title Ghar Jaana Hai.

He informed the court that subsequently five versions of the script were submitted on various dates till 2011 and the final version of the script was registered in 2012 with the title PK after which the movie was released in December 2014. The novelist’s counsel claimed that he had submitted his first manuscript to a publication house in October 2009 and the novel was first brought into public domain in 2013 with the title Farishta.

On being asked by the court whether he was alleging that any publication house may have leaked it to the filmmakers, Mr Isapuri replied in the negative but did not completely rule out the possibility saying he had given the manuscripts of the novel to several publication houses.

The court then asked the filmmakers to file their replies to the plea and written statements within four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on September 1.

Mr Isapuri moved the court alleging that PK‘s producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, its director Rajkumar Hirani, their respective production companies along with scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi had ‘stolen the characters, expression of ideas, scenes (sequences)’ from the novel.

He sought punitive damages of Rs one crore from the makers along with credit for his work.

In his plea filed through advocate Jyotika Kalra, Mr Isapuri claimed that in his novel he ‘has criticised blind following of so-called godmen’ and said that the ‘profession of religion is not natural but is man-made and artificial’ and that various issues raised by the movie had been ‘copied’ from his book.

“That the novel has many more such situations which have been very cleverly copied by the defendants in the film by making minor changes and insignificant variations,” the petition filed by him stated.

PK, which also stars Anushka Sharma, Sanjay Dutt and Sushant Singh Rajput, is a satire on godmen. It narrates the story of an alien (Aamir) who comes to earth on a research mission and befriends a television journalist (Anushka) and questions religious dogmas and superstitions.

The film, which broke the box office records with a global business of over Rs 600 crore, had earlier rankled the right wing organisations, who had demanded a ban on it.

Earlier, the high court while dismissing a PIL seeking ban on the movie, had said that there was an ‘instance of a growing tendency in the country of intolerance’ which has to be nipped in the bud and unless done so, is likely to spread like wild fire and which the country can ill -afford.’

The observation had come on PIL filed by a local priest seeking direction to delete alleged “objectionable” scenes from the film,claiming it hurt religious sentiments of Hindus.

In his plea, Mr Isapuri said scenes such as discussions between Anushka and her parents regarding inter-faith marriage, broadcasting insignificant programmes for raising TRP by media and how an attire could confuse people of a person’s religion were among the sequences that had been taken from his novel. The makers of PK have not commented on the issue so far. This is not the first time Mr Hirani has faced trouble from a writer.

Chetan Bhagat had earlier accused the makers of 3 Idiots of not giving him proper credit for his book Five Point Someone, on which the movie was allegedly based.

Murtaza Rangwala

Murtaza Rangwala is an entrepreneur and connector, as well as founder of He's a frequent contributor for and provides startup advice on his motivational blog.Murtaza is a serial entrepreneur who loves building amazing products and services that scale. Digital Consultant and Social media Consultant for Leading Bollywood Movies and Celebrities. With more then 12Mn Plus followers on Social media. Have done a campaign for movies Like Sarbjit, Madaari. Engineer turned into Entrepreneur. @thatmedianerd on Twitter and Instagram

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