‘Gulabo Sitabo’ Writer Reacts to Plagiarism Allegations

“My conscience is clear,” said writer Juhi Chaturvedi.

2 min read
The makers of <i>Gulabo Sitabo </i>react to plagiarism allegations on writer Juhi Chaturvedi.

The makers of Gulabo Sitabo have responded to the plagiarism allegations on writer Juhi Chaturvedi, by Akira Agarwal, son of late writer Rajeev Agarwal. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, the Ayushmann Khurrana, Amitabh Bachchan-starrer is written by Juhi Chaturvedi, who also wrote October and Piku.

Akira had alleged that his father had submitted his story ‘13, Mohandas Lane’ in Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest - promoted by the Screenwriters Association (SWA), of which Juhi was a jury member and thus had access to the story.

However, in a statement released by the film’s makers, it is claimed that Juhi never had access to that particular script. “The real facts are that in 2017, Juhi had shared the idea of a crooked old man with Mr. Bachchan, who liked the idea and then asked her to develop it. She then developed the idea and the concept was registered by her in May 2018. Furthermore, Juhi never received a copy of the supposedly copied script. Anjum Rajabali and the SWA have independently confirmed this as well. On May 29th 2020 the Screenwriters Association ruled in favor of Juhi,” reads the statement.

“My conscience is clear and so are the facts in this matter. Gulabo Sitabo is my original work and I am proud of it. I shared the idea with the director and lead actor of the film in early 2017. I subsequently registered the concept note for the film in May 2018. I had no access to the so-called infringed script at any point in time, as alleged.”
Juhi Chaturvedi, Writer, Gulabo Sitabo

Confirming the same, Anjum Rajabali, the jury chairperson for Cinestaan Script Contest said that the finalised eight scripts that were sent to the jury did not include ‘16, Mohandas Lane.’

He added, “8 scripts were sent to the other three jury members, Aamir Khan, Raju Hirani and Juhi Chaturvedi, to be read by them and by me again. From among these, five were selected for the awards and ranked in order of merit. While ’16, Mohandas Lane’ made it to the top 20, it did not enter the final list of 8 scripts which were sent to the jury.”

Producer Ronnie Lahiri of Rising Sun Films added that this was an attempt to malign Juhi and the film’s image. “Clearly the allegers are upset as the SWA decision didn’t go in their favor. Releasing the notice to the press, harassing Juhi and the Gulabo Sitabo producers on social media, seems to be a deliberate attempt to malign Juhi and damage the film,” he said.

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