Ketan Mehta approaches EOW to book Kangana Ranaut for 'cheating' over Rani of Jhansi biopic
Ketan Mehta has accused Kangana Ranaut of 'hijacking' his project on the Queen of Jhansi.
Three weeks ago, Ketan Mehta had sent Kangana Ranaut a legal notice for allegedly hijacking his film Rani of Jhansi: The Warrior Queen and 'conniving' with producer another director and producer to make Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. Now, it has emerged that Mehta has approached the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) asking for Ranaut to be booked for cheating and breach of trust, reports Mumbai Mirror.
A senior official at the EOW confirmed that Mehta had filed a complaint, but that an FIR will be filed only after a thorough investigation. He said that a probe is on, and that Ranaut will be summoned so that her version of the story can be recorded.
"We shared various versions of the script and sketch materials with Kangana Ranaut. We were shocked when we came to know that she was making the film within someone else and that’s why we also sent her a legal notice. We have been working on this project for 10 years now and it’s a labour of love. They have hijacked our project and that is not acceptable," said Mehta in the same report.
Ranaut has denied these allegations, stating that both projects are completely different. Her lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, added that she will not be deterred by these accusations, calling them "ridiculous" and "baseless", further going on to say that she has not committed any legal or moral wrong.
Mehta has alleged that Ranaut's 'hijacking' of his project resulted in losses of at least Rs 9 crore for him, and added that she had already begun shooting the project before abruptly leaving it. This biopic was said to be the director's most ambitious project thus far, with him reportedly investing 10 years of his career in it. Previously, he has mentioned that he approached Ranaut to play the lead in it in June 2015. He says that she publicly accepted the offer, but later announced the news about Manikarnika despite there being statements about her commitment to his film.
In response to this, Ranaut said that no contract was signed between the two parties, and that there were no similarities between the two films.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi will be directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, also known as Krish. It is scheduled to release in April 2018.
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