A writer Nishant Kaushik recently claimed that he was not duly acknowledged for his contribution to the screenplay of the forthcoming Rani Mukherjee starrer Hichki.
Director Sidharth P Malhotra had to issue the following clarification: “I had acquired the rights to make Front of the Class as a Hindi motion picture in 2013. Nishant Kaushik’s claims are baseless. He was contacted through Exceed Entertainment and I haven’t even met him once. We were looking for writers who could come up with a take on the Front of the Class. We had approached several writers including Nishant. He was given a brief for the film and the story and slant he came up with, was not what we were looking for. So, we did not proceed with him and Exceed was informed about my decision immediately. This was, 2015. Several prominent writers like AmoleGupte, Abbas Tyrewala have worked on the story of Hichki and we have obtained NOC’s from them and I thank each one of them for being the creative contributors of Hichki. We have credited all the writers who have worked in our film. So, it is ridiculous that we will not give credit to anyone in particular who has worked hard and contributed for Hichki.
Now writer-director Apurva Asrani who was himself embroiled in a copyright issue with director Hansal Mehta earlier this year over the screenplay of Simran, speaks up for Kaushik , but clears director Malhotra’s name.
Says Asrani, “Nishant Kaushik isn’t claiming plagiarism, he’s says he wasn’t awarded the dignity of a response, which pushed him to write about it on social media. That part I fully empathize with.It’s frustrating when directors first win your trust, make you work hard, and then just cut you off cold, blocking your messages, e-mails. Thank god at least social media allows you to get their attention today.But Nishant now has the closure he was seeking, thanks toSiddharth P Malhotra’s immediate response to his concerns. Makes me think Siddharth’s intentions are clean too.”