'Gulaab Gang' producers` plea in HC against stay on release

Last Updated: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:20

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: `Gulaab Gang` film producers have challenged The Delhi High Court's its order staying the release of the movie. 'Gulaab Gang', Starring Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla, is claimed to be based on the life of activist Sampat Pal and her organisation Gulabi Gang.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul agreed to hear the plea during the day after it was mentioned before it by senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the producers, Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd.

The HC has said that it will hear the petition after the producers file a compact disc of the lawsuit and other related documents as it is a paperless electronic court (e-court).

The producers approached the division bench challenging the order of the single-judge who yesterday stayed till May 8 the nationwide release of the, which was slated to hit theatres on Friday, on the plea of Pal claiming the film is based on her group Gulabi Gang, comprising women vigilantes in UP wearing pink sarees.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva had restrained the film`s producers and their agents from "releasing, exhibiting, distributing and promoting" the film in India till the next date of hearing on May 8, saying "irreparable damage and injury" would be caused to Pal if it is released.

The single judge had noted that while the producers might suffer monetary loss, Pal will suffer both financial loss, as her copyright over Gulabi Gang has been used without her permission, as well as loss of reputation "which cannot be calculated in terms of money".

Sampat Pal moved to high court restraining order on the release of `Gulaab Gang`, saying that filmmakers have not taken proper permissions from her before making movie on her life. She says that certain scenes of the movie may affect her reputation.

She has alleged that as per the film`s promos, the lead actress playing her character was shown as an anti-social element, wielding swords and sickles, contrary to her real life persona.

While staying the release of the film - censored or uncensored, the court had rejected the argument of the producers that Pal should not be granted any relief as she came to the court at the last minute despite knowing about the making of the film since March 2013, saying it found no merit in the contention.

The producers` counsel had argued that the intention of Pal from the start was to derail the film`s release at the last moment as she took no action, till filing of the case, after sending a cease and desist notice back in June 2013.

He had also offered that a disclaimer can be run at the start of the film that the incidents depicted in it are not in any manner related to Pal, her life or her organisation.

The bench, however, had rejected the offer and said "simply saying so will not do".

It had also questioned Pal as to why she moved the court at the "nth hour". "You should have come a month back," the court had said.

Her lawyers had also agreed that she moved the court very late, but contended that she can`t be punished for delay as release of the film could result in causing irreparable damage to her reputation.

The court had directed the film`s producers to immediately inform their distributors about the injunction on its release.

Pal`s group formed in 2006 in UP's Banda district is actively involved in fighting social injustices against women, at times, adopting unconventional means.

Gulaabi Gang hit the spotlight by punishing oppressive men, coming to the aid of women being repeatedly subjected to domestic violence.

The upcoming movie is centred on the struggle of women in the country. Both the Bollywood actresses are coming together on the silver screen and their on-screen chemistry is going to be entertaining for the audience. Their fans are excited to see both the divas of Bollywood together in `Gulaab Gang` for the first time.

The movie, directed by Soumik Sen and produced by Anubhav Sinha, is set to release this weekend. We wish both the actress all the best for their movie.

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First Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 13:32

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