As if the failure of Guzaarish wasn’t enough for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the DSC drove another nail in the coffin by asking Bhansali to pay Rs. 10 lakh as remuneration for plagiarism.
The Disputes Settlement Committee (DSC) of The Film Writers’ Association (FWA) informed Sanjay Leela Bhansali in a letter on April 21, 2011 that it had reached a decision in the matter of writer Taabish Romani’s allegation that the Aishwarya Rai–Hrithik Roshan starrer ‘Guzaarish’ was based on his script, ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnai’, registered with the FWA on April 4, 2002. The DSC stated categorically that its “unanimous opinion” was that “‘Guzaarish’ is based on Mr. Romani’s story, ‘Goonj Uthi Shehnai’”.
The committee pointed out that ‘Guzaarish’ was similar to Romani’s story in the “fundamental, material and substantial plot points”. The committee also pointed out that the script of the film submitted to it by Bhansali had been subsequently registered with IMPPA on February 19, 2009 and, suspiciously, did not name the writer at all. Bhansali had been credited in the film for the screenplay and dialogue but the story writer had not been named. The DSC specifically listed the similarities between Romani’s script and Bhansali’s film:
1) The main protagonist is a world famous magician. He has an accident and is paralysed and restricted to a wheel chair for life.
2) The main protagonist is cared for by a nurse who looks after all his needs. The nurse has fallen in love with him. He discovers that his nurse is married.
3) The main protagonist starts working as a DJ. He admits a plea to court for euthanasia.
4) A young man asks the main protagonist to teach him magic.
The DSC asked Bhansali to pay Romani Rs. 10 lakh as remuneration and by way of damages, and to give him credit in a separate card reading ‘Story By Taabish Romani’ in all the subsequent copies of the film and film’s publicity material. It informed Bhansali that in case he did not abide by the decision within 15 days, the matter would be referred to the FWICE. As Bhansali did not do the needful, the FWA referred the matter to the FWICE on May 9 for appropriate and necessary action.