Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Karnal-born scriptwriter hails SC verdict for giving her credit
KARNAL: After an eight-month legal battle on the charges of plagiarism against noted Hindi filmmaker Kunal Kohli, Karnalborn scriptwriter Jyoti Kapoor will finally get her credit for penning the upcoming film ‘Phir Se’.
Kapoor told Hindustan Times from Mumbai on Tuesday that the court’s ruling had come as a moral and legal victory against plagiarism which was rampant in the Indian entertainment industry.
“After an eight-month legal fight, I finally had a sigh of relief on Monday as my claim was proved correct in the highest court of law in the country. Though I am satisfied with the ruling, the entire development was painful. The glamorous film industry has hardly any respectable space for writers,” said Kapoor, an alumnus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
On Monday, the Supreme Court mediated between Kapoor and Kohli after the film maker agreed to compensate her financially and give credit as story writer of the film.
The court also cleared way for the release of the film that was held due to the legal battle.
The court ruled that there were similarities between the storyline of Kohli’s film ‘Phir Se’ and Kapoor’s script titled ‘RSVP’. The apex court ordered that Kohli pay Kapoor a compensation of `25 lakh and give her credit for the film story.
Former journalist Kapoor (36) had scripted Yash Raj studio’s ‘Dawat-e-Ishaq’ with Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra in the lead roles. She said that after her agent had e-mailed script to Kohli, he met her to discuss fees and writer credit issues. As Kohli reportedly wanted to buy the script without giving any credit to her, the deal did not materialise. Later, another producer selected the same script from Kapoor.
In the meantime, promos of Kohli’s film began to appear in the media and Kapoor sensed that her story idea was being used without her knowledge. Subsequently, she filed a complaint with the Film Writers Association (FAW) and then approached the Bombay high court demanding justice which ordered a stay on the release of Kohli’s film. However, Kohli challenged the order and another bench of the high court vacated the stay on the film
Finally, Kapoor had to approach the SC as the final resort against Kohli’s project.
› After an eight-month legal fight, I finally had a sigh of relief on Monday as my claim (for story rights of Kunal’s film ‘Phir Se’) was proved correct in the highest court of law.
JYOTI KAPOOR, scriptwriter