Mission Mangal cleared in plagiarism case; Bombay HC refuses to stay Akshay Kumar's space film

The stay on Mission Mangal's release was sought by Radha Bharadwaj, a US-based filmmaker who had accused the makers of copyright infringement.

FP Staff August 10, 2019 17:44:21 IST
Mission Mangal cleared in plagiarism case; Bombay HC refuses to stay Akshay Kumar's space film

The Bombay High Court refused to grant a stay on the release of Mission Mangal, reports Mumbai Mirror. The stay was sought by Radha Bharadwaj, a US-based filmmaker who had accused the makers of copyright infringement and violation of confidentiality. She filed the lawsuit back in November 2018, seeking to halt the production and release of the film.

Since the film was slated for a 15 August, the matter was listed as a priority matter.

Mission Mangal cleared in plagiarism case Bombay HC refuses to stay Akshay Kumars space film

A still from Mission Mangal trailer. YouTube screengrab

Bharadwaj claims she had registered her screenplay with the US Copyright Office in 2016 for both American and Indian markets. She completed shooting her film Space MOMs in 2018. Bharadwaj claimed that the production of Mission Mangal was rushed to jeopardise the prospects of her project.

The filmmaker also claimed that she had shared her original screenplay with Atul Kasbekar, in 2016 and Mission Mangal infringes on the copyright of her story.

Her lawyer Srishti Ojha said that while there are different ways in presenting the story about Mangalyaan, the filmmaker found an angle which focused on the women engineers involved in the mission. She also sought compensation worth Rs 90 lakh, claiming that she was unable to get buyers for her film because of Mission Mangal, reports The Quint. 

According to Mumbai Mirror, Justice Gish Kulkarni, who was presiding over the case, stated that Bharadwaj has failed to make her case. He said that she was merely pointing out similarities between the script of her film and the trailer of Mission Mangal.

Kulkarni added that while Bharadwaj had filed the lawsuit in 2018, she had delayed in sharing her script. She was also aware of Mission Mangal as well as its release date even before she filed the plaint, observed the court.

The Jagan Shakti directorial is a retelling of India's first-ever mission to Mars. The film stars Akshay Kumar, Taapsee Pannu, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Nithya Menen, Sharman Joshi, and Kirti Kulhari. The film is produced by Kumar's production house Cape of Good Films, and Fox Star Studios. R Balki, who directed Kumar in Padman, is also a producer on Mission Mangal.

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