‘Maidaan’ makers issue statement after plagiarism claims

The Mysore Principal District & Sessions court reportedly ordered a stay on ‘Maidaan’’s release following plagiarism allegations by a screenwriter

Updated - April 11, 2024 03:34 pm IST

Published - April 11, 2024 02:42 pm IST

A still from ‘Maidaan’

A still from ‘Maidaan’

The makers of Ajay Devgn-starrer sports biopic Maidaan have expressed their intent to move the Karnataka High Court after a Mysore district court reportedly ordered a stay on the film’s release following a plagiarism claim.

Maidaan dramatizes the life journey of football coach Syed Abdul Rahim, responsible for India’s second gold medal win at the 1962 Asian Games.

Anil Kumar, a Karnataka-based screenwriter, has accused the makers of plagiarising his script based on India’s sporting history. According to a report in News18, Kumar claimed that he had written a story based on India’s expulsion from the FIFA World Cup in 1950 in 2010. Years later, he contacted and shared the script with ad filmmaker Sukhdas Suryavanshi.

“In 2010, I started writing the story & in 2018, I posted a poster about this, & I got in contact with ad director Sukhdas Suryavanshi through my LinkedIn post. He called me to Bombay (Mumbai) & asked me to get the script. I have the whole chat history. He told me that he’d make me meet Aamir Khan, but I couldn’t meet him for certain reasons. I gave him the story & registered the same with the Screen Writers Association (SWA),” Kumar was quoted as saying by News18.

Suryavanshi went on to serve as an assistant director on Maidaan.

“Recently, I heard that a movie named Maidaan is getting released. I was surprised because even I have the same story. When I looked at the teaser & their statements, I got to know that it was my story. They have twisted the main story itself & made this movie. I named the story Paadakanduka,” Kumar added.

Following Kumar’s complaint, the Principal District & Session court in Mysore reportedly ordered an injunction on Maidaan’s release. The next hearing for the case is slated for April 24.

In response to the court order, Punkej Kharabanda, COO of BayView Projects LLP, the production company of producer Boney Kapoor, posted a statement on social media.

Mr Kharabanda stated that they plan to challenge the “ex-parte” order in the Karnataka High Court and added that the film’s release remains unimpeded.

“We have just been served the copy of the Order of the District Judge restraining the release of the film. At the outset, we would like to place on record that the said order passed by the District Judge is an ex-parte order, without giving us an opportunity of being heard. We were not served any notice prior to the filing of the said suit or hearing of the matter,” read the statement.

The makers added that the order has been passed after the release of the film and thus, “any such order passed that retrains the release of the film is infructuous under law”.

“However, we are filing an appeal against the order before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka. We shall move the matter before the Hon’ble High Court for urgent reliefs in order to stay the operation of the said order. Without prejudice to the aforesaid, we are taking all the steps as we have been legally advised, kindly be assured that the release of the film can continue. We shall update you regarding the further developments regarding this, once we move the matter before the Hon’ble High Court,” the statement read.

Maidaan is directed by Amit Ravindernath Sharma. The film released in theatres on April 11.

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