Mahira Sharma ‘trying to deflect blame’ over forged award, claim organisers as they again demand apology
The organisers of the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival award accused Mahira Sharma of trying to ‘deflect’ and ‘push the blame’ on a third party, following the forged award controversy.Updated: Feb 25, 2020 14:06 IST
The controversy around Bigg Boss 13 contestant Mahira Sharma’s allegedly forged Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival award refuses to die down. After her statement in which she claimed that she was given the certificate of appreciation for being the ‘Most Fashionable Contestant of Bigg Boss 13’ off-stage by one Premal Mehta, the organisers issued a fresh statement in which they have accused her of “clearly (attempting) to deflect from the problem caused by her and push the blame on a third party”.
According to the organisers, Mahira was sent a legal notice on Sunday (February 23), in which she was asked to take down the post claiming she won a Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival award and apologise for the damage caused to the brand. “Two formal communications were made with her, where one was the intimation letter mentioned above and the other was a formal mail shared to her and her team on 24th February 2020 (Monday). The team had clearly mentioned to her that a formal apology has to be shared from her end within 48 hours as her post had clearly violated the brand’s IP assets and brand collaterals which led to negative PR and damages to the DPIFF team,” their statement read.
“Ms Mahira Sharma posted her response statement on her Instagram account on 24th February 2020 after receiving both the communication from our team where she has clearly attempted to deflect from the problem caused by her and push the blame on a third party,” it added.
The organisers shared a picture collage of the fake certificate and an authentic one, pointing out the differences between the two. Responding to Mahira’s clarification, they said, “It is really unappreciated that she still claims that the award has not been forged and is unapologetic about the same.”
“Even now, we are looking for an amicable resolution in this regard through an apology which we have asked Ms Mahira Sharma to post. Even though she has called this incident to be ‘untrue’, we still stand by our claims on this matter and expect her to share an apology. We shall be patiently waiting for the same,” the statement from the organisers added.
The organisers said that Premal, who supposedly handed out the certificate to Mahira, was an “external PR” who coordinates with celebrities to attend the awards show. “He is neither associated directly to the DPIFF team nor has any contract with us,” they said.
After Mahira’s clarification, Premal issued a statement. He said that he was associated with the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival awards function for the last two years and the same could be verified from the highlights on his Instagram page.
“Last year also we had some certificate problems which were directly printed without asking and given to artists and same was done this year also to Mahira Sharma and this has become an issue. If no one from DPIFF was coordinating with me how did Mahira come for the event. After proper discussions we had also mailed to DPIFF official id today morning for which we have not received any reply yet. And certificate issue was already discussed with Abhishek Mishra (CEO) of DPIFF on 22nd Feb, 2020 night at 08:28 pm and next day afternoon 12:10 pm in which he had assured he will be looking into it and solving it internally. Post that without any clarification or discussion a post was raised against Mahira Sharma which is really not fair,” Premal said in his statement.
The organisers acknowledged that Premal “contributed towards coordinating with the celebrities” but said that it came as a “shocking revelation” to them that he “directly printed” certificates without their consent.
In their statement, the organisers said, “We were unaware that he has been doing this for the last two years which is clearly a violation of our IP assets and brand collaterals.” The statement added that the organisers would take “required actions” against him for his “unethical practice”.
The organisers said that when they were made aware of the incident, they reached out to Mahira for a clarification and it was only after receiving no response from her that they issued a public intimation letter. “Mr Premal has stooped to spreading negative comments on DPIFF’s team in order to safeguard Ms Mahira Sharma which led to him speaking out his actual truth of certificate forging practice for so long,” they said.
Mahira “accepted a forged certificate of appreciation through an unofficial/unverified source”, according to the organisers, and removed the post immediately when they got in touch with her to discuss the incident. “This gives clear-cut indication of her involvement in this act as she was not confident about the certificate felicitated to her. However, in her statement on Instagram, she has claimed that the statement released by our team is ‘untrue and uncalled for’. We are shocked on how conflicting and baseless her claims are,” their statement said.
The organisers maintained that they were “very clear” on their stand that the certificate was forged and still expected an apology from Mahira.
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