Chetan Bhagat Accused of Plagiarism, Book Sales Stayed by Court
He visits government departments to train staff on communication skills, all his books are adapted into Bollywood movies, some have even ended up becoming super-hits, and his first blockbuster book Five Point Someone has also been recently included in Delhi University's curriculum. However, Chetan Bhagat is now at the centre of a controversy which could tarnish his image as an original writer forever.
His bestselling book of 2016, One Indian Girl, seems to be in legal trouble just six months after its release. The author has been accused of plagiarism, and a temporary injunction order staying the sale of the book has been issued as per a report in Scroll.in.
This comes after Bengaluru-based author and research professional Anvita Bajpai alleged that Chetan’s book “has an emotional flow” which is quite similar to her short story Drawing Parallels. This book was published in 2014 by LiFi Publications, as part of her collection Life, Odds & Ends.
When I came across several Facebook posts detailing Chetan Bhagat’s latest book, it sounded a lot like my story. So I read through One Indian Girl and kept wondering how the content could be so similar. Then I realised that I had handed a copy of my book to him at the Bangalore Literature Festival in 2014 for feedback.
As soon as she realised the striking similarities with her book, she sent Chetan a legal notice, on 22 February 2016, asking him to stop the circulation of the book in stores, and also asked to pay Rs 5 lakh in damages. After Chetan denied all allegations a month later, Anvita decided to approach a civil court in Bengaluru.
Anvita said in her Facebook post that she filed a suit seeking permanent injunction, restraining Chetan Bhagat and the publisher from selling One Indian Girl and also sought Rs 1 lakh in damages.
The court issued a temporary injunction till the next hearing, which restrains Rupa Publications from selling the novel, the report adds.
The order was issued on 19 April and says that One Indian Girl was “adapted” from Drawing Parallels.
This could be a misunderstanding and my publisher’s legal team will be taking suitable steps, Chetan said
(This article was originally published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)