Mumbai, April 24: Author Chetan Bhagat, who has been slapped with Rs 1 crore defamation suit, has denied that 'Half Girlfriend' has any reference to the family of erstwhile princely state of Dumraon in Bihar.
The author said there was some "misunderstanding" as his book is a work of fiction. Chandra Vijay Singh has brought the defamation suit against Bhagat for allegedly portraying the male members of his family in negative light.
Bhagat said there was no relation between the family he mentions in his book with the real one. ['Half Girlfriend' in trouble: Delhi HC summons Chetan Bhagat for defaming 'Royal family of Dumraon']
"Somebody in Bihar feels they belong to the family, which is fictionally represented in the book. But it is fiction. So the question of defamation does not arise and I don't know these people. I don't even know they existed.
"Once they said they were not happy I said, 'let's be friends and let's have a friendly chat'. That I will say to anyone. If I don't know someone exists, how will I defame them? It is a misunderstanding. They have asked us to respond to them so we will respond," Bhagat said.
The author is confident that the matter will be sorted out. "The court will decide. It is almost a compliment if people feel my story in 'Half Girlfriend' is real, it is not. I am shocked that people feel that way," he said.
Defamation suit against Chetan Bhagat
67-year-old Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh of the erstwhile royal family of Dumraon in Buxar district of Bihar has slapped a defamation case of Rs 1 crore on Chetan Bhagat.
Singh, the eldest son of Maharaja Bahadur Kamal Singh, the erstwhile ruler of the princely state of Dumraon, has filed a petition in Delhi High Court for false and derogatory information about his family in his novel.
Singh has issued warning for further sale or circulation of the novel in its present form with immediate effect. In the defamation suit, the publisher of 'half girlfriend', Rupa Publications have been named as respondents.
Delhi High Court issues summons to Chetan Bhagat
The Delhi High Court has issued summons to Bhagat and Rupa Publications to appear before it on May 1st, personally or by a pleader.
But the erstwhile royal family wants the full retraction of the original content of the novel.
Vijay's son, Shivang Vijay Singh, a BJP leader, also said that his family told Bhagat to make the necessary changes regarding the content, but he has not taken their pleas seriously.
In the novel, Bhagat has projected males of Dumraon royal family as gamblers and alcoholics.
(With agency inputs)