Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘lawyers

‘3 Idiots’ director Rajkumar Hirani accuses novelist Chetan Bhagat of slander

By TNN (January 04, 2010)

A still from 3 Idiots

Director Rajkumar Hirani is flabbergasted by author Chetan Bhagat’s allegation that 3 Idiots was majorly copied from his bestseller Five Point Someone without giving him due credit. Terming it a “clear case of defamation”, Hirani says they may take legal action against Bhagat for flouting their contract.

“It’s a clear case of defamation because contractually what he (Bhagat) was bound, he was given. Now why is he slandering us? We are consulting our lawyers. But that’s a call Mr. Vinod Chopra has to take. He is the producer of the film,” Hirani told IANS.

“I am sure it’s defamation because lots of people I know are wondering about the issue (due to Bhagat’s allegation) In lots of Twitter and Facebook sites we have been abused saying, ‘we won’t watch Hirani’s film or Abhijat’s film’. This kind of muck is flying all over the place. I think Vinod Chopra is looking into it, I guess he will follow the legal path,” he added.

Hirani clarified that once Bhagat had given the rights to make a film on his book, there shouldn’t be any “percentage issue”.

Hirani maintained that the basic plot of the film is completely different from the book.

“In the book, there is no bet between the two friends, the journey to find their friend is not there, the child delivery scene, the ‘Balatkar’ scene, the two weddings where they crashed these key scenes are not in the book. There are certain similarities, which I am not denying, but we had bought the rights for that.

“We can use 100 per cent of it. What does he (Bhagat) mean by 70 per cent? Are we supposed to pay more money for using 70 per cent? Are we supposed to give different credit for 70 percent? I do not understand this percentage controversy,” said Hirani.

Baghat has reportedly posted a blog saying he should have got a prominent place in the rolling credits. He also said that he was not shown the final script.

Reacting to his allegations, Hirani said: “We have officially bought the rights for the film. We drew a contract with him and it clearly mentions about the position of his credit. With open eyes he had seen the contract, consulted his lawyer and signed the agreement.

“In the contract, we have said that the title would be given in the rolling credits. We haven’t changed the font size. We haven’t increased the speed of the title. It’s exactly there where it was agreed to be,” said Hirani.

The director, who has a hattrick of hits – Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, says after signing the contract with Bhagat, they were not obliged to show the script to the author.

“I was not obligated to narrate the script to him. I have bought the script from him and I am supposed to use it the way I want to use it. I had changed the script drastically, so out of good gesture I wanted him to know it has changed so much and if he feels he doesn’t want to be associated with the film, he can tell me.

“He heard the script for four hours and readily agreed to stay associated, saying ‘I want to stay associated with the film, it’s a fine script’ which he has said in your (IANS) interview too. He signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Now he writes in his blog ‘I wanted to see the final script and it was not shown to me’. It is a blatant lie, he is telling,” Hirani added.

Asked if Bhagat could have a vested interest in kicking up the controversy, he said: “I guess there is a motivation to create the controversy so that people read the book and see the film.”

Hirani says that they never relied on controversies to publicise their creative work.

“Our film is doing exceedingly well. It’s beyond my dignity to create a controversy for a film. We have never sold our soul for our cinema. I’m not stooping to that level to sell my cinema or make extra money.

“When you talk of that percentage thing, it creates a curiosity to read that book and judge the film.”

Would he again adapt Bhagat’s book?

“This came as a shock to me that suddenly he is trying to hog the limelight; suddenly he is trying to take away the credit from the screenwriters who slogged for three years to modify the script. He doesn’t understand the difference between book writing and writing for a film. If he continues doing these things, I would rather not associate with him.”

Currently Hirani is working on two scripts with Abhijat Joshi. One among them is Munna Bhai Chale America, while the other one is a completely different plot. He will start shooting either of them by the end of 2010.

ANGRY AND HURT: Mandira Bedi

Mandira Bedi sends channel legal notice for ankle broken on show

ROSHNI K OLIVERA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 24, 2009)



Mandira Bedi is in a bad shape, physically, mentally and right now, even emotionally. A bad stunt during the Khatron Ke Khiladi press conference in Mumbai that resulted in a broken ankle, surgery, a metal plate with seven screws to hold the bone in place, has left her upset and tearful. She sent Colors, the television channel hosting the show, a legal notice for ignoring her, now that the show is off the air and demanded a response within seven days. The channel asked for time. “Six weeks later, do they still need more time,” asked a fuming Mandira.


At the press conference, at the behest of show host Akshay Kumar, the 13 lady contestants jumped from a 15-foot height, barefoot, onto two thin coir mattresses. “Barefoot, because we weren’t informed before hand that we were doing a stunt and didn’t have training shoes,” said Mandira, who hurt her foot badly after doing the stunt. A doctor on the set advised her to ice the badly swollen foot. Mandira called her husband, who suggested an X-ray. Nobody from Colors accompanied her to the hospital, she said. “I left alone in my car as there wasn’t an ambulance there. My X-ray confirmed a fracture. I informed the Colors team of it and my inability to return. Then I went to hospital to put my foot in a cast. The next day, a newspaper reported that ‘Mandira twisted her ankle’. Which is the only official statement from Colors,” added Mandira. Injuries and all, in cast and on crutches, Mandira still made the KKK finale shoot where Akshay acknowledged her injury as a
“zara si moch”.


Then followed a painful, three-hour surgery and many attempts by Mandira in vain to talk to the CEO of the channel. “He deigned to call me back,” she alleged. “Of course, it was only because the show was still on air! Subsequently, he apologised for a Colors employee’s feeble attempt at clearing my hospital bills, saying it would be ‘chicken-feed in comparison to all the pain and trauma I have gone through’. He also assured me that he would ‘make it up to me’. That was the last time I heard from him or anyone else from there.” But Mandira doesn’t want anyone to “make it up to her” she wants them to take responsibility. “Accept, on a public forum, that a mistake happened, that there was medical negligence and violation of safety norms. This acknowledgement makes for a larger issue. This callous and inhuman behaviour has to be made an example of,” she insisted. “What if Akshay had hurt himself doing a stunt on the show because of lack of safety or medical negligence? Would the channel wash their hands off him?”


CHANNEL RESPONDS:
A spokesperson from Colors told BT: “We’re surprised on receiving this notice from Mandira and our lawyers are in the process of responding to the notice. The fact is that she voluntarily opted to do the jump and all due care was taken during all the rehearsals of the show, to ensure safety of all participants. For unforeseen incidents, there was an ambulance and a doctor on stand-by, always. It was unfortunate that she hurt herself during one of the rehearsal drills. While adequate firstaid was offered to her on site, we also offered to pick up her medical expenses for this injury. And we are willing to reimburse her medical expenses now as well if we receive the bills from her. After doing all this, her behaviour leaves us amazed.”
roshni.olivera@timesgroup.com

Shiney Ahuja’s wife Anupam is ecstatic on the actor being granted bail after serving prison term for three months for allegedly raping his maid

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 02, 2009)

Shiney Ahuja

Did you anticipate that Shiney would get bail yesterday?

Honestly, I always went with a positive and open mind. Every time I used to feel ki ho jayega.What was special about yesterday that made it happen?

I would attribute it to our daughter, Arshiya. We hadn’t seen her since a long time as she was in Delhi. It was only six days ago, on September 27 that she came to Mumbai. It was her second birthday on September 28. She brought luck and her father was freed.

How did you react when you heard that Shiney has been granted bail?

I was overwhelmed, I started crying. I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am feeling right now.

How are you planning to meet Shiney — with a hug or a kiss?

(Laughs) We will definitely hug. I imagine it will be a family picture with my daughter, parents and parents-in-law also being there.

Has the ordeal brought you and Shiney closer?

Yes, but that would have happened to any couple. There were funny stories about us and Shiney bore the brunt of it.

Are you not planning to return to the US (where she works). Will you continue staying in India with Shiney?

US can wait. That’s not a priority. I will be with Shiney — be it in Delhi or Mumbai.

Did you pray fervently for your husband’s freedom?

Of course, I used to go to Siddhivinayak every Tuesday and did many other things. My prayers have been answered. I want to thank the people from the film industry and everybody who stood by me. Ashoke Pandit, in particular, was like a rock by my side. I would also like to thank my lawyers — Shrikant Shivde, Neha Bhide, Manoj Mohite and Shirish Gupte.

Anupam Ahuja

How is Shiney’s health now?

He had a severe back problem on September 25. That was the last time I met him. He will be out of jail on Saturday. I am just dying to meet him.

Do you feel dejected that Shiney has been directed to stay out of Mumbai?

Not at all. I respect the law and have faith in the judiciary system. We will be fine in Delhi where our parents reside.

Will Shiney return to films?

Of course. Why would he go anywhere else? He will abide by the law and work wherever the law permits him to go.

Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; October 1, 2009)

Mumbai: Shiney Ahuja’s legal team tried to create more holes in his alleged victim’s claim that she was raped between 3 pm and 5 pm in his Andheri house on June 14.

The Bombay high court on Wednesday was hearing the bail plea of actor Shiney Ahuja who
is accused of raping his domestic help. The court will pass its order on Friday.

Though the domestic help claimed to be raped between 3 pm and 5 pm, the records from the phone company showed that she was speaking on her cellphone between 3.15 pm and 3.45 pm, said Shiney’s
lawyers Shirish Gupte and Srikant Shivade on Wednesday.

The fact that the girl only mentioned the word “atyachar (torture)’’ in her statement on oath before the magistrate and not “rape’’ was also discussed. Justice A P Deshpande asked for the dictionary meaning of atyachar and Gupte said it, in
no way, meant rape. But public prosecutor Sangeeta Shinde said the 20-year-old domestic help’s FIR and medical evidence pointed at rape and that atyachar had to be construed in the context of the incident.

The judge found it strange that neither the girl’s nor Shiney’s clothes had semen or blood stains on them given that she
had worn her clothes “immediately after the alleged forcible sexual intercourse’’. The defence also wanted to know how the police officer had access to lab reports of the maid’s vaginal swabs when the same documents were denied to Ahuja by the sessions judge.

When the judge asked why the police had not recorded any statement of the neighbours, the state’s lawyer said, “In these sophisticated housing societies, neighbours do not bother to interfere even if someone dies.’’ The judge said it was not true as it was a neighbour who took the maid to the police station to lodge a complaint.

Swati Deshpande | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; September 30, 2009)


Mumbai: He’s a “small-time actor’’, and while he may be no “saint’’, he’s “no rapist’’ either. This is what actor Shiney Ahuja’s lawyers said, seeking bail pending trial on charges of raping his 20-year old maid at his Andheri home one morning.


In a fresh bid for freedom after spending more than 100 days in jail, the 35-yearold actor–through his counsel Shirish Gupte along with Shrikant Shivade–said the “victim has not even used the word ‘rape’ in her statement to the magistrate regarding the June 14 incident’’. She “had no external injuries, creating doubts over her claim that she resisted him’’, they said. The complainant had called Ahuja many times from her cellphone the pre
vious night, said Gupte.


Forensic experts have said earlier that the absence of external injuries did not mean there was no rape. A woman could be forced into the act by the threat of violence, experts reasoned.


The panchnama noted that when he was arrested on June 15, Ahuja’s left wrist and right little finger had a “nail mark’’ which the actor claimed were sustained while he was working out, and not from the victim’s nails.


The DNA analysis showed no profile was obtained from the victim’s vulval swab, but did find some evidence to match Ahuja’s “control blood component’’ in one of her smear slides. “The reports fail to conclusively establish rape,’’ Ahuja’s plea said, suggesting it was “a consensual act’’.


Saying bail was a rule and not an exception as held in numerous Supreme Court judgements, Gupte said even medical evidence had “little against the actor’’. There was “no semen and blood’’
found on the victim in the panchanama on his or her clothes and at the scene of offence, he added.


Ahuja’s bail was rejected by the sessions court in July on the grounds that he may tamper with the witness because he was “rich and influential’’. But Gupte said: “How is he influential? He has just made his name in a few films. Besides she stays in Raigad district and will only come for the trial. He doesn’t know where she is.’’


The written bail plea, however, describes Ahuja as a “well-known film personality, having won several professional awards… with roots in society’’.


The hearing will continue in the court of Justice A P Deshpande on Wednesday, when the prosecutor will oppose the bail plea.


The maid had narrated the entire incident of “forcible sexual intercourse’’ to neighbours Adarsh Gupta and Sanjeet Kaur. The neighbours then took her to the police station at Oshiwara to file the complaint.