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Bombay high court gives clean chit to Mohenjo Daro in plagiarism row

Court dismisses petition which had accused director Ashutosh Gowariker of copyright infringement.

Mayur Lookhar

The decks have been cleared for the smooth release of the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Mohenjo Daro after the Bombay high court dismissed a petition against director Ashutosh Gowariker and the film's producers for alleged plagiarism.

In July, writer Akashaditya Lama had moved the court and sought a stay on the film, alleging that the story had been lifted from one of his scripts.

In his petition, Lama said he had narrated his script to an editor, Jaswinder Ballu Saluja, in 2001. Saluja has worked on a few Gowariker films, including Lagaan (2001) and Swades (2004). Lama wrote a letter to Gowariker seeking an explanation, but when the filmmaker did not respond, he filed a petition.

After going through the two scripts, the court dismissed Lama’s petition as a mere publicity stunt and fined him Rs1.5 lakh for wasting the court and the filmmaker’s time.

One victory has been achieved, but Gowariker and Hrithik Roshan have a bigger battle to win when they cross swords with Akshay Kumar’s Rustom on 12 August.