Akshay was one of the early birds to take to Twitter to express his condolences Image: Twitter
Still reeling from reports of the Raabta vs Magadheera plagiarism row, where the former was dramatically given a clean chit just a day before its scheduled release, a similar story seems to be playing out for the Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar starrer, Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (TEPK). Filmmaker Praveen Vyas alleged that Akshay's Independence Day offering is extremely similar to his 2016 documentary Manini that had won third place among 4500 entries themed around the Swachh Bharat Mission at last year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. And to make matters worse, he has even sent a legal notice and a cease and desist notice to stop the trailer and all promotional campaigns around the film.
Vyas believes that a number of scenes from Akshay's film are really similar to his documentary. Speaking to The Times Of India, he said, “Manini follows the female protagonist as she protests against lack of a toilet in her marital home on the first night of her marriage after female relatives wake her up before sunrise to tend to nature’s call in an open field. The scenes in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’s trailer shows the same interaction between characters.”
Vyas sent a notice appealing for a stay order on the film on June 15. The makers of TEPK had two weeks to respond to the notice, which they extended and finally on June 28, through their legal team, denied all the allegations. Since they've also denied Vyas credit or monetary compensation for the original idea, he says he will now be fighting in court to get his due.
Shital Bhatia, co-producer of TEPK however says that the script of the film had been registered since 2013 under their writers, Siddharth and Garima adding that Vyas is allegations are borderline harassment. Akshay, who is currently holidaying with his family in Europe, hasn't responded to these reports with any official statements or through his social media handles. We wonder what Khiladi Kumar has to say about the plagiarism allegations. Watch this space for more.