Bollywood superstar Kangana Ranaut, her brother Akshat, her sister Rangoli Chandel and a man identified as Kamal Kumar Jain have all been named in an FIR registered at the Khar police station in Mumbai, by author Ashish Kaul, who has accused them of allegedly announcing a film based on his book without his permission. According to the FIR, Kaul possesses exclusive copyrights over the story of the warrior princess Didda, which is the subject of both his book titled Dida, the Warrior Queen of Kashmir and Ranaut’s alleged film.
The police revealed that Kaul approached the Queen star in September 2020 via email with excerpts of his book and was shocked when the actor announced a project based on Didda without his knowledge. “The description of Didda as identified by Kangana Ranaut to promote her film is identical to what is set out in my book,” Kaul told The Indian Express. Following this exchange, Kaul sent Ranaut a legal notice, to which she allegedly responded with the claim that her film is not based on the author’s book.
Kaul then sought legal aid and approached the Bandra magistrate, appealing for the registration of an FIR on his behalf against the actor under section 156 (3) of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedures. “Based on a court order [the police] has lodged an FIR under sections 406, 415, 418, 120 (b) and 34 [of the Indian Code of Criminal Procedures] read with sections 51, 63, and 63 A of the [Indian] Copyright Act of 1957 against the four accused,” revealed Khar police senior police inspector Gajanan Kabdule.
The author has sighted concerns not only regarding the unethical nature of copyright infringement but the immediate financial loss he may face if the film is allowed to be produced. Kaul revealed that before Ranaut had announced the film, he had been in talks with several high-profile producers and Bollywood big-wigs about taking his book to the silver screen.
Meanwhile, the infamous star’s legal representative, advocate Rizwan Siddique, remarked that he was unable to get into the details of the matter at this time. “I shall obtain a copy of the entire proceedings from the court and then I shall give a detailed statement. At this juncture I cannot comment without perusing the complaint in detail,” he stated.
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