Taabish Romani, the director who claimed that the Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer Guzaarish was a copy of his original script has now duped the Film Writers Association after taking Rs 3 lakhs as settlement money from Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
The Film Writers Association (FWA) was due to receive 5 percent of the amount as its service fees and Taabish Romani is not traceable besides repeated efforts of Executive Member, Film Writers Association Kamlesh Pandey. He said , “It’s been two months now since this behind-the-scenes drama between Bhansali and Romani. But nobody seems to know where Romani is. We helped him so much but now he doesn’t even take our calls. According to the rules, the cheque he received should have been in FWA’s name. There is little we can do except continue our search for Romani.”
The Film Writers Association and the association had backed the writer’s original claim of plagiarism against Bhansali and through the Disputes Settlement Committee (DSC) of FWA had informed the filmmaker of its decision that the Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starer was based on Romani’s script Goonj Uthi Shehnai, registered with them since 2002.
The DSC committee pointed out that ‘Guzaarish’ was similar to Romani’s story in the “fundamental, material and substantial plot points”. The committee also pointed out that the script of the film submitted to it by Bhansali had been subsequently registered with IMPPA on February 19, 2009 and, suspiciously, did not name the writer at all. Bhansali had been credited in the film for the screenplay and dialogue but the story writer had not been named. The DSC instructed Bhansali to pay Rs 10 lakh as remuneration for plagiarism.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali decided to have an out of court settlement and Romani was paid Rs 3 lakh, but FWA whose lawyers were used to represent the case against Sanjay Leela Bhansali did not even get their fees.
Taabish Romani is currently untraceable despite numerous calls made by The Film Writers Association. It is sad that filmmakers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali are loosing cases for script plagiarism and even more sadder is that the association which helped uphold the writers rights has also been duped.