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Summons issued to Alia Bhatt , Sanjay Leela Bhansali and authors over upcoming film

The court accepted the complainant’s contention that his consent was not taken at the time of writing of the book in 2017 or while adapting it into a film stating that it amounts to defamation.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 26, 2021 2:27:19 am
sanjay leela bhansali newsSanjay Leela Bhansali's next project is Gangubai Kathiawadi (Photo: Express Archive)

A metropolitan magistrate’s court in Mumbai issued summons last week to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the producer-director of the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, the authors of the book it is based on and actor Alia Bhatt in connection with a criminal defamation complaint.

The order was based on a complaint filed by a man claiming to be the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi. He claimed that a promotional video of the film titled after his mother and a chapter of the book on her, which the film is adapted from, show her as a “prostitute” and a “mafia queen”. It claims that after the release of the film’s trailer, the women of his family, who live in the red-light areas of Kamathipura, have been subjected to objectionable and abusive comments by men, affecting their reputation. The complainant claims his mother was a social worker who fought for the rights of sex workers.

The court accepted the complainant’s contention that his consent was not taken at the time of writing of the book in 2017 or while adapting it into a film stating that it amounts to defamation. “Even if it is considered she was prostitute, that does not mean that anybody has permission or write to show or mention her as a prostitute in public,” the court said.

Observing that sufficient grounds have been made to proceed against the five, the court ordered to issue summons against them returnable on May 25. The order was issued against Bhansali, his production house, Bhatt and the two authors of the book the film is based on.

Last month, a city civil court had dismissed a suit filed by the complainant seeking permanent injunction from the making and screening of the upcoming film.

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