When the makers of Toonpur Ka Superrhero created the character called Guppy, they didn’t anticipate any legal trouble. But veteran composer Bappi Lahiri is taking them to court for modelling the character on him. So much so that he’s even listed his style statement in the legal notice he has sent to director Kireet Khurana and producers Kumar Mangat Pathak and Krishika Lulla of Eros Entertainmemnt.
According to the notice, Lahiri heard about this caricature from his daughter’s friend. Guppy sports long hair, wears dark glasses and lots of gold jewellery.
The notice, sent to the producers by Lahiri’s legal team, Fox Mandal and Co, based in Delhi, carries Guppy’s description as: "the cacophonous singer in the group has a compulsive urge to sing, which gets the group into trouble frequently. He breaks into a song at the slightest opportunity. The Devtoons are constantly trying to shut him up and are fed up of his singing. He has a strong desire to become a celebrity ‘Toon Idol’ and his Devtoon friends will someday appreciate his talent."
Lahiri’s notice also goes on to say that it wrongly gives the impression that the composer is part of the film. In view of the said facts and circumstances, the notice urges the makers of Toonpur to 1) delete the character Guppy from the movie, and/or, 2) change the getup and persona of Guppy so that it doesn’t have any resemblance to the composer, 3) issue a public apology within two days of receiving this notice, failing which Lahiri will take legal recourse as would be available to him.
Confirming the notice, Kumar Mangat says, “Our legal department is looking into it.” When asked about their plan of action, Sangeeta Mandal, Lahiri’s advocate said, “It’s too premature to speak about what we plan to do. All I can say is that Bappi Lahiri is upset about the caricature. He is a renowned figure worldwide.”
Krishika Lulla, Eros Entertainment, says, “We have so many look-alikes for Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. It would be a great honour to see that even in the cartoon world you can have a fan follower called Guppy. He should have called me instead of taking legal action, I would have shown him the movie and I am sure he would never have been disappointed.”