Iucaa says it wants to settle issue with Pu La family amicably
Following the notice sent by family members of late Marathi author and renowned humourist PL Deshpande, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Iucaa) has maintained that it is willing to discuss the issue of copyrights and royalty in an amicable manner outside court.
The Iucaa was served notice by PL Deshpande’s nephew’s Jayant Deshpande and Hemant Deshpande on November 18 seeking clarity about the royalty of late author and his wife Sunita Purushottam Deshpande.
The Iucaa said on Wednesday that there was no need to drag the issue to the courts and that it could be discussed amicably. According to Iucaa officials, will of late Sunita Deshpande has offered all rights of the plays, books and writings by PL Deshpande to the science body. However, Deshpande family has alleged that there are discrepancies in the way Iucaa is handling the will.
“There are many discrepancies in the way Iucaa is handling the will and also arbitrarily charging royalty and fees for using our uncle’s literary work,” said Jayant Deshpande, who owns a transport business.
The issue came up when younger brother Hemant Deshpande’s son Yash wanted to use a script for a special programme that he was planning as part of the centenary celebrations of PL Deshpande.
“We had written to Iucaa and they sent us a long letter asking for minute details of the programme. As part of the Deshpande’s family, at least we have a right to his works too, but not like this,” said Jayant Deshpande.
NV Abhyankar, senior administrative officer, Iucaa, said there has been a misunderstanding and he along with others at Iucaa are looking at an amicable discussion in person.
“There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding and miscommunication about the rights as implied in the will as well as about the royalty charged. We received the will from Sunita Deshpande while she was alive. She and Pu La had visited Iucaa on Narlikar’s invitation and had loved the fact that this despite being a UGC-run autonomous research facility, offered a lot of insight into science for children too. In fact, PL and Sunita were instrumental in helping build Muktangan building within the Iucaa campus,” said Abhyankar.
PL Deshpande, who died on June 12, 2000, was fondly remembered by fans as Pu La. Pu La had great regard and fondness for Iucaa, due to which his wife in her will gave all the rights of his books and other material to the centre.