The raging controversy over the credit for the story in 3 Idiots escalated on Saturday with director Rajkumar Hirani accusing author Chetan Bhagat of "lying" despite agreeing to several conditions including a rolling credit in a contract.
Hirani, who also shares the writing credit with scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi in the Aamir Khan starrer, said Bhagat had approved the film's script and agreed to the condition that it would be different from his book.
Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Hirani showed the contract signed with Bhagat, whose novel Five Point Someone became the basis for the film. The director said he had made a four-hour narration of the script to the author.
"We never denied Bhagat the credit. I am confused as to why is he saying all these things after the film's release. We have not stolen the story; we have purchased the rights of the book and can modify or change it as per our requirements. There is nothing illegal in it. Chetan is lying," Hirani said.
He said that as per the contract signed between Bhagat and producers of the film, it was obligatory on part of the latter to mention in rolling credits that the film was based the novel.
"His name appears immediately after the main cast in the rolling credits. If he wanted to see his name in opening part of the film, he should have asked us after reading the contract itself. I am myself a writer and I respect writers," Hirani said.
Reacting to Hirani's statement, Bhagat accused the filmmakers of abusing the contract.