In a Rs 50-crore copyright infringement lawsuit, television producer Mahim Joshi has claimed that the story of the Salman Khan blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan was lifted from a story he had registered in July 2007 with the Indian Film and Television Producers Council as well as the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers.
While Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s writer K. Vijayendra Prasad refrained from comment as the matter is sub-judice, sources in the know refute Joshi’s claim. Says an informed source, “Vijayendra Ji’s story is about a mute Pakistani girl who is stranded in India and is reunited with her parents in Pakistan by the Indian hero. Joshi’s film is set in the heart of Mumbai during the Babri Masjid riots. It’s about a Hindu couple who hates this Muslim guy who owns a mutton shop in front of their home. The couple leaves for their hometown in Gujarat leaving their daughter behind when riots break out. The Muslim hero rescues the girl.”
Says the source, “There are no similarities in any way between the two stories, except that both the stories involve Hindus and Muslims and a little girl being helped by the hero to reach her parents. There is no similarity at all either in the story or the characterisation or the dramatic premise of the stories or the main situations or the places around which the story revolves or the main purpose behind each of the stories.
“As per the Copyright Act of 1957, subsequently amended in June 2012, an idea has no copyright but only the total expression of the story can hold the copyright. In this case, even the story idea itself is different and the purpose behind both the stories are totally different.”