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Rajasthani filmmaker moves court against ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ over copyright infringement

A Jaipur-based filmmaker, Praatik Sharma, has moved the court against the makers of Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ for allegedly lifting the punchline and the subject from his film ‘Gutrun Gutar Gun’.

A copyright infringement case was filed by Sharma against Plan C Studios, an alliance between Reliance Entertainment and Friday Filmworks helmed by Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia, and Viacom18 on July 7 in a Jaipur Metropolitan Court.

After filing the lawsuit, Additional District Judge No 14, Jaipur Metropolitan sent a notice to the producers of the film on July 14 and has asked them to appear before the court on July 22.

When IANS contacted the makers of ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ about the allegation, they refused to comment. “Plan C is producing it and Viacom18 is serving as a producer and presenter. There is one line in my movie – ‘aurat shadi karke ghar mai aati hai, usko toilet nahi milta, bawal hota hai, ant mai pati usko toilet bana kar deta hai.’ (a woman gets married and then doesn’t find a toilet at home, creates a scene and ultimately a toilet is constructed).

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“Because of this line the distributors are telling me my film is the same film as ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha,’ Sharma, who had finished making ‘Gutrun Gutar Gun’ in 2015, told IANS.

Praatik had got a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification in 2015 but they could not release it for lack of money for distribution.

The film, which highlights the problem of houses without toilets, was even screened for Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and other dignitaries, Sharma said. “We also sent our film to festivals like Delhi International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival Melbourne, Australia and Rajasthan International Film festival,” he said.

After struggling for two years, his team was ready to release it on July 28 this year. “But distributors have backed out saying our film is similar to ‘Toilet…’. They said even if they put it up, they would remove it from screens if asked to. This is unfair,” Sharma said.

He said he is hoping to get justice in court. “We believe in law. I know we will get justice,” he said about the film, whose cast is led by actress Asmita Sharma.

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