Stealing scripts and passing them off as one’s own is common in B-Town. Anand Kumar, who made Delhii Heights and Jugaad is the new victim. Reportedly, his former associate, Rajesh Chawla, flicked his idea of ATM and sold it to Taandav Films as his own, titled Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene.
Kumar confirms and claims that he had been working on the story of ATM for four years. He recalls: “I started work on it before Delhi Heights. It’s the story of a guy, who, on a visit to the ATM, finds Rs 400 crore in his account. Then, he’s hounded by phone calls from an underworld goon claiming that the money is his and the guy let him allocate funds from his account.”
The director says that he was shocked when he learnt that Taandav Films’ Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene with Zayed Khan and Ranvijay Singh has the same story and is credited to Rajesh Chawla.
He says, “I’ve registered a complaint with the Film Writers’ Association and they have taken up the matter. They’ll arrive at a conclusion very soon.” The beleaguered filmmaker informs that he had narrated the story of ATM to plenty of filmmakers like Rangita Nandy and artistes like Jimmy Sheirgill, Manoj Bajpai.
Sheirgill confirmed Kumar’s claims: “I met Anand over ATM’s script. The plot was brilliant and I was willing to do it. Meanwhile, the producers felt that Delhii Heights was a more appropriate subject at that time. It’s sad that Anand couldn’t register the script in his name and today is seeing it being made by someone else.”
Bajpai feels sorry too for Kumar who had broached the script with him before Jugaad. “I thought ATM was a fantastic story and was keen to work on it. But then Anand came with the script of Jugaad. It was topical then, so we started Jugaad first.” Even Nandy confirmed to having heard the script from Kumar. “ATM sounded interesting. So we asked him to develop it and come back with the final script.”
When contacted, Rajesh Chawla obviously denied Kumar’s allegations: “The script of Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene is mine.” Right now, Kumar is planning to take the legal route. “I will see Rajesh in court. I can prove it’s my script. Even the Film Writers’ Association has assured me that they will proceed in the case after the shooting wraps up,” he rues. Savitha Raj of Taandav Films was unavailable.