Madurai: The director and story writer of superstar Rajinikanth's under-production tri-lingual action thriller 'Lingaa' Tuesday denied in the Madras High Court the charge made by another director that they had stolen his story for their film.
In separate counters to a petition by debutant director K Ravirathinam, 'Lingaa''s director K S Ravikumar and story writer S Ponkumaran submitted that the entire claim was based on a "flimsy thread" that the story of their film and the petitioner's story "Mullai Vanam 999" are based on Mullaiperiyar dam issue.
When nothing except official teasers and trailers had been released, how could the petitioner come to the conclusion that the story of "Lingaa" was the same as his story, they asked.
Seeking to dismiss the petition, they said the petitioner had not published his story anywhere till date.
He had filed a sketchy report about his story on Youtube. And if one browsed the same, it would reveal that it was concerned with the Mullaiperiyar dam and how the people of six districts (in Tamil Nadu) unitedly fight for their rights over the dam located in Kerala.
It also contained a statement of some artists that the story involved a love affair between a Tamil boy and Kerala girl. Such a sketchy report does not amount to telling a story.
"...The story of Lingaa had not been published anywhere.
Public, including the press, would keep guessing about the story. Though the story was by Ponkumaram, the screen play had been done by him and several other original elements had been added to it," Ravikumar said.
The story writer had registered his story under the title "King Khan" on December 15, 2010 and the petitioner could not claim copyright for an unpublished work. The statements in Youtube did not constitute publication of his story, they said.
Ravikumar said he had given many hit films, including Rajinikanth-starrer 'Padayappa' and the case had been filed to spoil his reputation. It amounted to blackmailing him, he charged. Ponkumarman charged the petitioner was abusing the process of the court. "Though the director has taken his story, he has given a new shape to it and he himself cannot say what would be the story of Lingaa without watching the released version." The petitioner has approached the court stating that he was directing a film named "Mullai Vanam 999" produced by Ranga Pon Solai films, based on the story of a dam construction, reflecting the Mullaiperiyar reservoir construction.
Claiming that the entire story was uploaded in Youtube on February 24, 2013, and it was telecast by all leading Tamil TV channels, the petitioner submitted that he decided to convert the uploaded movie into a feature film for which a 'pooja' was also held at AVM studios on February 24, 2014.
The shooting for the film was scheduled from January, 2015 and pre-shooting inspections were also conducted. The film was slated for release during the Tamil New year.