Ketan Mehta drags Kangana Ranaut to EOW over Rani Laxmibai biopic

Filmmaker Ketan Mehta, who recently sent a legal notice to Kangana Ranaut for allegedly “hijacking” his project ‘Rani of Jhansi: The Warrior Queen’, has now approached the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) seeking to book the actress for cheating and breach of trust.

A report in Mumbai Mirror stated that Mumbai Police’s EOW has confirmed receiving the complaint, but it will file an FIR only after a thorough probe and recording Kangana’s side of the story. “Ketan Mehta has submitted a written complaint, seeking an FIR into the matter. A probe is on and Kangana Ranaut will be summoned to record her version,” the report quoted an officer as saying.

Mehta alleged that Kangana “hijacked” his ambitious project in connivance with producer Kamal Jain and announced a new film on Rani Laxmibai titled ‘Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi’. He claimed that he was in touch with Kangana since 2015 and had research material and several drafts of the script with the ‘Queen’ actress and she was actively participating.

"We shared various versions of the script and sketch materials with Kangana. We were shocked when we came to know that she was making the film within someone else and that’s why we also sent her a legal notice. We have been working on this project for 10 years now and it’s a labour of love. They have hijacked our project and that is not acceptable," the report quoted Mehta.

Mehta had originally announced the project about two years ago as the second part of a trilogy on Indian Freedom Struggle after Aamir Khan starrer ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’. “I always wanted to make The Rising as a trilogy. So, this film will be the second part after Mangal Pandey,” he had stated at that time. 

However, Kangana has denied these allegations, stating that both projects are completely different. Her lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee called the accusations "ridiculous" and "baseless," and said that she will not be deterred by these.  He further added that Kangana has not committed any legal or moral wrong.

‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ will be directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi, also known as Krish. The three-time National Award-winning actress, accompanied by the film’s team, including music composer Shankar Mahadevan, singer Richa Sharma and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, officially launched the historical film in Varanasi last month. She also performed Ganga aarti and took dips in the holy River.  

‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ is scheduled to release in April 2018.