Days after the family of later flight purser Neerja Bhanot, whose life story was brought on screen in the Sonam Kapoor-led eponymous film, moved the court accusing the producers of going back on their word of sharing 10 per cent of the movie’s net profit, Fox Star Studios has stated that it owes no contractual obligation towards the Bhanots and the issue is between them and the other producer, Atul Kasbekar.
Kasbekar’s Blingg Unplugged and Fox Star Studios co-produced Neerja. which won big at this year’s National Awards. The Bhanot family has accused the producers of “criminal conspiracy”.
“The entire episode has trappings of a criminal conspiracy between respondent (Bling Unplugged) and Fox Star Studios India Pvt Ltd, who right from the inception of the agreement (between the family and the producers), in a planned manner had dishonestly induced the petitioners and family members of late Rama Bhanot with the intention of wrongful gains to themselves,” the petition moved by the family before the Punjab and Haryana High Court stated.
In its official statement, Fox Star Studios has said that it joined the film much after the rights to make the movie were obtained by Kasbekar’s company and hence it only has obligation towards Blingg Unplugged and not the Bhanot family.
“Fox Star Studios is extremely proud of its film Neerja and holds the Bhanot family in great esteem. However, the facts are that the Studios does not have any contractual obligations towards the Bhanot family as the life rights and permissions were obtained by Blingg Unplugged from the Late Neerja Bhanot’s family long before Fox Star Studios came onboard to produce the film. Fox Star Studios has been duly honouring its contractual obligations towards Blingg Unplugged. It’s unfortunate that Blingg and Bhanot family have not been able to resolve their disagreements. The life story of Neerja Bhanot inspired the nation and the movie created history, created memories that we deeply cherish, memories that will last forever. We hope for quick resolution to the ongoing issue,” the statement read. The case will be heard in July.