The Delhi High Court today refused to stay the release of Bollywood movie Jolly LLB on a plea by a group of lawyers who alleged that it is defamatory and amounts to contempt of court.
The comedy drama starring Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani is scheduled to be screened from March 15 and the plea had sought cancellation of the certification granted for its release.
A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice V K Jain said,”It is only a trailer and at this stage it is difficult for us to find out in what context it was said” and reserved its final order.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by group of practising lawyers alleging that “the scenes in the film undermine the dignity of the court.”
The lawyers in their plea,filed through their counsel Jaideep Mallik and Birender Sangwan,said,”The film contains scenes showing totally disgraceful act in the court proceedings and the dignity of the court has been shown in a defamatory manner,thus the certification granted to the film is liable to be withdrawn or quashed.”
Appearing for the production house Fox Star Studio India Pvt Ltd,which produced the film,senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul argued that the scenes in the movie are creative expression of the filmmaker and also a depiction of day-to-day happenings.
Kaul said that the trailer of the movie has been on air since January 2013 and the petitioners have approached the court just a few days before the film’s release,”which is a blackmailing tactic”.
Arguing that “this practise has to be stopped”,he urged the court to reject the plea.
The petitioners have alleged that “the contents of the trailer of the movie are not only defamatory to the lawyers who have passed from Meerut University,but also amounts to contempt of court.”
The petition said,”The reputation of not only the petitioners (who have done LLB from Meerut) but all those advocates passing out from Meerut Law College,has been lowered in the eyes of all those people who have watched the impugned trailor of the said film.”
The lawyers in the petition contended that the film is in violation of guidelines issued by Information and Broadcasting Ministry under section 5B of the Cinematography Act.
The guidelines bar visuals or words involving defamation of an individual or a body of individuals or contempt of court.
“The trailer of the film Jolly LLB is in clear contradiction to the guidelines laid down by the ministry under section 5B of the Act,” the petition claimed.