Juhi Chaturvedi denies plagiarism claims against Gulabo Sitabo: My conscience is clear
The screenwriter was accused of copying late writer Rajeev Agarwal’s story for the film
Screenwriter Juhi Chaturvedi has denied the plagiarism claims against Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo. The film, which stars Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khuranna, tells the story of a 78-year-old landlord and his tenant in Lucknow.
Recently, Akira Agarwal, the son of late writer Rajeev Agarwal, had accused Juhi of plagiarising her father’s story. Akira’s lawyer claimed that he had submitted the story for the Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest promoted by The Screenwriters Association (SWA) in 2018. Juhi was a jury member of the contest along with two others.
Responding to the allegations, Juhi said she had pitched the idea of ‘a crooked old man’ with Amitabh Bachchan in 2017, who had liked the idea and asked her to develop it.
“My conscience is clear and so are the facts in this matter,” Juhi said in a statement. “Gulabo Sitabo is my original work and I am proud of it. I shared the idea with the director and lead actor of the film in early 2017. I subsequently registered the concept note for the film in May 2018.”
On her conduct as a jury member for Cinestaan’s contest, Juhi clarified, “I had no access to the so-called infringed script at any point in time, as alleged. This fact has been independently confirmed by Cinestaan as well. Even the SWA, who has looked at this dispute in May 2020, decided in my favour.”
Juhi’s stance was also confirmed by Cinestaan Contest’s Jury Chairman Anjum Rajabali and Vice President Ritika Soni.
Anjum stated, “It has come to our notice that there are some reports in the mainstream as well as social media about allegations that Juhi Chaturvedi, the screenwriter of the soon-to-be-released film, Gulabo Sitabo has plagiarised the script, 16, Mohandas Lane, written by late Rajeev Aggarwal. While it is true that 16, Mohandas Lane was submitted to the first edition of the Cinestaan India’s Storytellers Script Contest of which Juhi Chaturvedi was one of the jury members, we want to clarify that she had absolutely no access to this particular script.”
Gulabo Sitabo premieres on Amazon Prime Video on June 12.