Two directors go to courts alleging plagiarism by makers of ‘Bala’

Ayushmann Khurrana’s new film “Bala” has landed in trouble with two filmmakers approaching courts with claims that it has plagiarised their concepts about a bald man and his many travails.

While Kamal Kant Chandra, who is working on his debut film “Marksheet”, approached the Bombay High Court and then the Supreme Court, filmmaker Naman Goyal has gone to the Jaipur district court.

On Monday, the Supreme Court directed the Bombay High Court to arrive at a resolution by November 8.

A Jaipur district court has summoned the producers of “Bala” to appear before the court on Wednesday in a plagiarism case.

Chandra, who filed a case in the Bombay High Court and later moved to the Supreme Court, said he hopes to get a stay on “Bala” before its November 7 release.

Claiming that “Bala” is lifted from his script, Chandra said he met Ayushmann during the shooting of ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and in September 2017 sent him the concept via WhatsApp.

“I got a message from Ayushmann within an hour. He said he liked the concept and wanted a narration. As a struggling assistant director, I was very happy to receive positive feedback from the star. I decided to meet him with the script but I got a message from his manager that he was busy so I left the script with them but there was no response,” Chandra told PTI.

He alleged that Ayushmann stopped responding to his messages and his manager told him he was not interested in doing a movie on baldness.

“I let it be but I was surprised to hear the announcement that he was going to do a movie on the theme. I immediately sent them a legal notice,” Chandra told PTI.

According to Chandra, the entire trailer of “Bala” is based on the concept he sent Ayushmann.

The story, he said, is his own biopic and is about how inner beauty is more important than physical appearance.

Filmmaker Naman Goyal also claimed that several scenes and content of “Bala” were lifted from his award-winning short film “The Beginning To Get Bald”.

An appeal was submitted on November 2 against the producers as well as director and writer of the film for copyright violation.

While hearing the plea on Monday, the Jaipur court issued notice to “Bala” producer Maddock Films to appear before the court on November 6, counsel for the petitioner G D Bansal said on Tuesday.

Efforts to contact the producers of “Bala” and Ayushmann were unsuccessful.

Ayushmann had earlier dismissed Chandra’s claims.

“I got the same idea from six different people. I’ll just go with the person who is more credible. There was a film called ‘Hair is Falling’ in 2011 and there were a lot of films which were made on receding hairline but they were not successful,” he had told reporters earlier.

“Bala” had also faced a legal challenge from the makers of “Ujda Chaman”. However, the makers have now withdrawn their case.