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Ranaut 'didn't sign any contract' with Ketan Mehta, Manikarnika producer says

The producer of Kangana Ranaut starrer, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, has said that Kangana Ranaut was not bound by contract to Ketan Mehta, and that the director is free to make a film on the Rani of Jhansi.

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Kangana Ranaut just can't avoid trouble these days. Even before she can escape Apurva Asrani's accusations of stealing 'co-writer credits' for Hansal Mehta's Simran, the actress has landed in yet another soup. On Friday, Ketan Mehta sent a legal notice to Ranaut accusing her of 'hijacking the project'.

However, the producer of Ranaut's film, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, Kamal Jain has responded by saying, "Our lawyers have sent an interim response to him. His notice is inaccurate and baseless. We were aware that Ketan's film was in discussion for the past five years. But, you [Ketan] can't hold back a talent [Kangana] for that."

Read more: Ketan Mehta sends legal notice to Kangana Ranaut for 'hijacking' Rani Of Jhansi project

Ranaut was initially part of the Rani Laxmibai biopic with director Ketan Mehta at the helm. Mehta claims that he had provided the actress with research material to read up on, before the actress decided to walk away from the project. The director accused Ranaut of 'unethical' behaviour in signing a project on the same subject with another producer. In a report by the tabloid, Mid-day, Jain says, "Ketan is as free to make a biopic on a historical figure as any one else. We have none of his research material in possession, contrary to his claim. There is no similarity between his screenplay and ours. It's a great subject, which allows multiple takes with fresh perspectives."

In the report, the producer is quoted as saying, "She (Ranaut) didn't sign any agreement with him. He had presented his script, which she may have not found feasible. Only a legal document can bind actors to a project. Plus, this isn't a fictional story. There were five films on Bhagat Singh. No one sued anyone then."

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is being directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, and is scheduled for a theatrical release in April next year.