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Mohenjo Daro copyright case: High Court to pass order today

Scriptwriter Akashaditya Lama had submitted a petition in court over copyright infringement against Ashutosh Gowariker in December. The case is now in its final session in Bombay High Court.

Shriram Iyengar

Ashutosh Gowariker's Mohenjo Daro is preparing for a huge battle before its release, and it has nothing to do with Akshay Kumar. The director's faceoff with scriptwriter Akashaditya Lama over issues of copyright infringement on the script of 'Mohenjo Daro' awaits judgment today. The writer claims that Gowariker has stolen his story to form the basis of the script for Mohenjo Daro. Lama had first sent a legal notice to Gowariker, UTV films, the lead actor Hrithik Roshan, and Disney India in December.

The plea was heard on Monday by Justice Gautam Patel of the Bombay High Court. The court is expected to pass the order today. 

Akashaditya Lama is a director, and has written the script of Sunny Deol's superhit, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001). Speaking to the media in December, Lama said, "I sent him a handwritten script through Jaswinder Saluja (an associate of Gowariker's) which he returned after four days saying that he had just directed a period movie (Lagaan) and didn't wish to make another one immediately." The writer also added that he had registered the script under the title 'Samraajya', before registering it again in 2010 under the name 'Mohenjo Daro'. 

For their part, the team of Mohenjo Daro have maintained that all the allegations are baseless. The legal team had put out a press release when the issue arose, stating: 'Our client states that they had received a script from Mr Ballu Saluja in 2003. However, our client returned the script to Mr Ballu Saluja immediately without reading the same.' 

Mohenjo Daro stars Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde in the lead, and is set to release on 12 August.