Actor Kangana Ranaut and her brother Akshat Ranaut have approached the Bombay high court challenging an FIR lodged against them by the Mumbai police for alleged copyright infringement and cheating in connection with a film project.
The First Information Report was registered in March this year against producer Kamal Jain, Kangana Ranaut and her siblings Rangoli Chandel and Akshat Ranaut after Ashish Kaul, author of Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir, accused them of copyright violation and cheating.
The FIR under IPC sections for cheating, criminal breach of trust and conspiracy and also the Copyright Act was registered by the suburban Khar police following an order passed by a magistrate's court on an application filed by Kaul.
Kangana and Akshat in their petition in the HC also challenged the magistrate's order to lodge an FIR, and a notice issued by the police directing them to appear for questioning.
“The whole FIR is lodged on a false case. Copyright infringement can be there only when there is comparative work. The petitioners have not made any work till now. She (Kangana) had only announced on her social media that she was planning to make a movie on Queen Didda,” the Ranauts' lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the HC on Friday.
Due to paucity of time, a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and G A Sanap said the petitioners could seek further hearing on Monday.
Siddiquee then sought interim protection from coercive action (such as arrest). The bench sought response from public prosecutor Deepak Thakare, who assured that no such action will be taken by the police until Monday.
According to Kaul, he had sent an email to Kangana about the story-line of his book and she used a part of the story in a tweet while announcing a film without his permission.
In her tweet, Ranaut said she would be joining hands once again with Kamal Jain after her 2019 film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.
Kaul claimed in his complaint before the magistrate that he has exclusive copyright to the life story of Queen Didda.