‘Toilet-Ek Prem’ in fresh row over copyright violation of song ‘Has Mat Pagli’

In a fresh trouble for Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar's starrer film ‘Toilet - Ek Prem Katha’, the makers have been slapped with a legal notice by a Jaipur-based filmmaker for copyright violation of the song ‘Has Mat Pagli’.

Filmmaker Vipin Tiwari has alleged that the song 'Has Mat Pagli' has been lifted from a song of the same name in his film ‘Laadli’ which was released on April 7. He has sent a legal notice accusing the makers of ‘Toilet -Ek Prem Katha’ of copyright infringement. The complaint was also forwarded to the Indian Film and TV Producers Council (IFTPC), which in turn has sought a clarification from Neeraj Pandey, the co-producer of the Akshay Kumar starrer. The IFTPC has asked Pandey to submit a reply to Tiwari's petition within three days. If he fails to do so, the matter will be referred to the disputes settlement committee.

Tiwari, head of Teetri Production says that he directed and produced ‘Laadli’, which deals with the subject of girl child. "One of the famous songs in the movie, ‘Hans Mat Pagli Pyar Ho Jaega’ was approved in our favour by IFPTC, and till date, its registration is with us. ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’, in its promo, is screening the very song without our permission. Also, the song of Akshay Kumar’s movie has similar picturization of the scene of the Holi festival in the Braj area, which is similar to the picturization in ‘Laadli’," Tiwari was quoted by DNA.

"In the film ‘Toilet - Ek Prem Katha’, there is a song with the same line Has Mat Pagli Pyar Ho Jayega. The composition and lyrics are different, but the punchline is the same. I had planned to make ‘Laadli’ in 2014 and had started working on the script. I was going to Jhalawar when I read this catchy line (Has Mat Pagli Pyar Ho Jayega) behind a truck. It was then that the idea of composing a song around it struck me. It came as a shock to me when I heard the same punchline being used in ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’. This line has been used more than once in their song, which is nothing but a blatant copyright infringement. I wouldn't have reacted had some small-time filmmaker copied my song. But I am shocked to see that Bollywood filmmakers, who I feel are aware of all the copyright rules, have done this,” Tiwari told a leading daily.

Tiwari added that he had registered his film ‘Laadli’ and its songs back in 2014 in the Rajasthan Cinema Vikas Sangh, which is a regional body working to promote Rajasthani cinema, apart from registering the film with IFTPC in the same year. He has demanded that the promotional content of ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ be withdrawn, the 'plagiarised' scenes be removed and the release of the film be stopped.

However, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures which is producing ‘Toilet - Ek Prem Katha’ has refuted the claims and said that they had not received any letter from the filmmaker.

Last month, Udaipur-based documentary filmmaker Praveen Vyas had sent a legal notice to ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’ makers claiming that several scenes in the movie were directly lifted from his documentary ‘Manini’, which had won the third prize at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2015. The film was also based on the topic of sanitation and hygiene.