Orders reserved on copyright case against Madhur Bhandarkar

NEW DELHI, June 19: A Delhi court has slated June 27 to pronounce its order on a plea accusing Bollywood filmmaker Madhur Bandarkar of “stealing” the “plot and idea” for his movie Fashion from a book without giving credit to the author.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sanjay Sharma reserved the orders on a plea by actress-turned-author Seema Seth, who had sought lodging of an FIR against Bhandarkar, alleging that the plot and idea for ‘Fashion’ was stolen by Bhandarkar from her book El-Dorado which was published three months prior to the release of the film on October 29, 2008.
The court reserved the order after hearing arguments by Seth, who argued her case in person despite court’s suggestion to avail legal aid from Delhi Legal Services Authority.
Seth has contended that Bhandarkar indulged in “clear-cut violation of the Copyright Act. She has also made Ronnie Screwala of UTV Motion Pictures a party in the case where she has sought compensation to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore.
“All the plot and the idea has been stolen from the said book wherein the story begins in Kolkata, where an aspiring model wishes to go to Mumbai but her father opposes and mother supports,” Seth said.
“Careful reading of the said book vis-a-vis the story of the said movie would conclude that all the story/script has been taken from the said book without my permission,” she had contended.
Seeking a direction for lodging of an FIR against Bhandarkar and others under “appropriate” section of the IPC and for violation of Copyright Act, Seth had sought expeditious hearing of her case.
Seth had earlier also told the court that after she issued legal notices to Bhandarkar and others, she has been “continuously harassed” by some persons.
She was “threatened with dire consequences” and the local police were also not helping her, she had told the court.
“On the contrary, they harassed me more while refusing to register the FIR,” she had said.
“I was also harassed at my work place and my plight is that I am being thrown out of my job on insistence of the above-mentioned people. Life has become miserable for me, my daughter and my brother and we live under constant fear due to all this,” Seth had said in her complaint.
Seth, who argued her case in person, said lawyers engaged were “tutored and threatened” to leave her case. (PTI)