Just a day after the trailer of Hichki starring Rani Mukerji got accolades and appreciation for being a content driven film that can be looked forward to on 2018, the film has experienced its first hiccup. An Australia based India writer, Nishant Kaushik, has accused the makers of Hichki of stealing his story. In a series of tweets earlier today, the author claimed that he was in touch with director Siddharth Malhotra for the story and he had also furnished the draft. He lamented that even after repeated mails and messages to the filmmaker, there was no communication whatsoever about his story.

Today morning, when he landed in India, he watched the Hichki trailer and noticed “a rather similar storyline, a protagonist with the same speech disorder I had described, and other nuances that I MAY NOT own all by myself, but are undoubtedly similar to the ones I portrayed.” While he was in touch with Malhotra almost 2.5 years ago and let this go because there was no communication, he thought that the project is not taking off. But the trailer came as a rude shock to him. However, Malhotra has issued a statement rubbishing all these claims made by Nishant Kaushik. ALSO READ: Hichki Trailer Out: Rani Mukerji Retains Her Cha-Cha-Charm Like None Other

Malhotra says that he acquired the official rights to remake Front of the Class in Hindi in 2013. He further said that Nishant Kaushik was contacted through Exceed Entertainment and he hasn’t met the author even once. “We were looking for writers who could come up with a take on the Front of the Class. We had approached several writers including Nishant. He was given a brief for the film and the story and slant he came up with, was not what we were looking for. So, we did not proceed with him and Exceed was informed about my decision immediately. This was, 2015.” Malhotra further said that prominent writers like Amole Gupte, Abbas Tyrewala and more have worked on the story of Hichki and that he already has an NOC from them. He further reasoned, “We have credited all the writers who have worked in our film. So, it is ridiculous that we will not give credit to anyone in particular who has worked hard and contributed for Hichki.”

As of now, the credit for story and screenplay for Hichki is shared by director Malhotra, Anckur Chaudhry, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit. The film is scheduled for a February 23 release. Interestingly, this issue reminds one of a similar incident when writer Apurva Asrani had alleged Kangana Ranaut for taking credit for the script of Simran, even though he was the one who solely worked on it.