It may have a fair amount of questionable content, but sex comedy Great Grand Masti has found itself in trouble for what its makers must have thought a fairly innocuous joke.
Actor Shiney Ahuja has sent a legal notice to the film's producers, Balaji Motion Pictures, and its honcho Ekta Kapoor, as well as director Indra Kumar, over what he says is a derogatory reference to him in Great Grand Masti.
According to news reports, Shiney took umbrage to the fact that a character in the film — depicted as a maid — is named Shiney. Moreover, the film's three leading men — Aftab Shivdasani, Riteish Deshmukh and Vivek Oberoi — are all shown to be flirting with her.
Shiney Ahuja felt the gag was a direct reference to his legal troubles — the actor was accused of rape by his domestic help back in 2009. He was convicted by a trial court, but appealed against the decision in the High Court, where a verdict is still pending. He is currently out on bail.
Shiney first heard of the reference to him in the film, via an entertainment website, His lawyers then sent the legal notice to the Great Grand Masti team. They have asked that all references to Shiney be removed from the film, and a written apology be extended to the actor.
Failing this immediate action on the part of the Great Grand Masti team, Shiney's lawyers have threatened to initiate legal and criminal proceedings.
"The hearing of (Shiney Ahuja's) appeal is in progress before the Bombay High Court. In such a situation, producing a film using his name in a derogatory manner amounts to creating impediments in the free flow of administration of justice,” the actor's lawyer, Neeraj Chaudhary told The Indian Express.
Shiney's legal notice further states that: "The name of the maid 'Shiney' and the actors trying to find some 'masti' with her in the movie Great Grand Masti will have greater ramification and impact on the mind of the viewer and will tend to curtail or impair the freedom of the limbs of the judicial proceedings."
There has been no comment from the Great Grand Masti team so far in response to Shiney's legal notice. The film has opened in theatres all over India today, 15 July.