The Kerala High Court has recently made a decision in a case involving allegations of plagiarism surrounding the movie “Neru”, starring popular actor Mohanlal. On Wednesday, December 20, Justice Devan Ramachandran refused to grant a stay on the release of the film which is scheduled to hit the big screen on Thursday, December 21. However, notice has been issued to the respondents, including the Central government, director-cum-writer Jeethu Joseph, and co-writer advocate Santhi Mayadevi.
The case was brought forward by Deepu K Unni, who claimed that the script for the movie was plagiarized from a screenplay that he had written. Unni alleged that he had originally conceptualized a script for an “emotional family drama” featuring a court story with a female and male lawyer as the protagonists. He claimed to have shared this script with the makers of “Neru,” including Jeethu Joseph and Santhi Mayadevi, on several occasions, engaging in extensive discussions about its contents.
Unni further argued that Joseph and Mayadevi were impressed by his script and had assured him that the next film by Joseph would feature his work. As part of their collaboration, Unni claimed that he was coerced into handing over copies of his script to the duo, under the pretense that they needed the assistance of expert lawyers to understand the court drama sequences within it.
However, Unni alleged that he never received any feedback or updates on his script. To his dismay, the trailer for “Neru” was released and contained scenes that were exact replicas of those in his script. Not only that, but the film’s title also carried a strikingly similar tagline to his script, describing it as an “Emotional Court Drama”.
In light of these circumstances, Unni approached the Kerala High Court seeking directions to prevent the release or exhibition of “Neru”. Despite his plea, the court has decided not to grant a stay on the film’s release, allowing it to proceed as scheduled. However, the notice issued to the respondents, including the Central government, Jeethu Joseph, and Santhi Mayadevi, indicates that the court has acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and will further investigate the matter.