Mehta pursues damages

Director seeks $350,000 for defamation

NEW DELHI — A Delhi high court has issued notice to writer Sunil Gangopadhyay on a suit filed by director Deepa Mehta.

The suit seeks damages of $350,000 and a public apology for allegedly defaming Mehta in the media by accusing her of plagiarizing the Calcutta, India-based scribe’s novel for the script of her film “Water.”

Judge S. K. Mahajan also issued notice (not a summons — just a reply in response to the objections raised by Mehta) to the novel’s translator, Aruna Chakaravarti, and Ananda Publishers of Calcutta, directing all the parties to file replies by April 6.

Gangopadhyay and Chakaravarti, who translated the writer’s Bengali novel “Shei Shomoy” into the English “Those Days,” have accused Mehta of lifting dialogues, scenes and even characters from the book.

Mehta Meanwhile has claimed that she has suffered a loss of $500,000 because protesters interrupted the shoot.

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