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  • Wednesday, 05 October 2022
Bombay High Court Stays : Gangubai Kathiawadi : Defamation Proceedings Against Alia Bhatt, Producers

Bombay High Court Stays : Gangubai Kathiawadi : Defamation Proceedings Against Alia Bhatt, Producers

Bombay High Court Stays : Gangubai Kathiawadi : Defamation Proceedings Against Alia Bhatt, Producers

 

The Bombay High Court had earlier granted an ad-interim stay on the summons issued by a Magistrate Court in the criminal defamation complaint filed by one Babuji Shah who claimed to be the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi.

The Bombay High Court on 22nd December, 2021 (Wednesday) continued the stay on the summons issued by a Mumbai Court in a criminal defamation complaint against the producers of the film Gangubai Kathiawadi, actress Alia Bhatt and authors S. Hussain Zaidi and Jane Borges who authored the book on which the film is based.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bombay High Court had in August granted an adinterim stay which was extended by way of today's order.

The Metropolitan Magistrate at Mazgaon, Mumbai, had issued summons in the defamation complaint filed by one Babuji Shah who claimed to be the adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi.

He claimed that the chapters on Kathiawadi in the novel The Mafia Queens of Mumbai (on which the film is based) were defamatory, tarnished her reputation and infringed upon her right to privacy.

The producers, Bhansali Production Private Limited along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhatt, and the authors moved the High Court challenging the issue of such summons and the process issued against them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda appearing for the producers and Bhatt, said that they had no knowledge about the existence of Shah, the alleged adopted son of Gangubai Kathiawadi.

He also highlighted the order of the Mumbai City Civil Court dismissing a suit seeking a permanent injunction against the authors of The Mafia Queens of Mumbai to restrain them from publishing, selling or creating third-party rights on their novel.

He also pointed out that the conditions required for constituting the offence of defamation were not made out. Advocate Narendra Dubey appearing for the complainant, pointed out that the adoption issue was resolved in another proceeding before the city civil court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He stated that even in the book the authors had admitted to having knowledge about the adopted son. Justice S.K. Shinde however mused that the complainant had failed to show proof as to how he was the adopted son of the deceased woman.

He emphasised that this issue deserves attention since the right to raise grievances against defamation is limited to family members or close relatives, hence it was important for Shah to prove he was one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recording that a prima facie case is made out for grant of interim relief, Justice Shinde passed the following interim directions:

  • Stay on the proceedings against the accused, and
  • Stay on the summons issued against them.

The factual matrix of the dispute started from the novel authored by Zaidi and Borges. The book contains chapters on the late Gangubai Kathiawadi, a social activist who worked for the rights of sex workers. Bhansali Productions is in the process of making a feature film called Gangubai Kathiawadi, based on the novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shah, who claims to be the adopted son of Kathiawadi, has contended in that the chapters on Kathiawadi in the novel were defamatory, tarnished her reputation and infringed upon the right to privacy and self-respect of his deceased mother.

A civil suit filed earlier was dismissed after which the present criminal defamation complaint was filed.

Bhansali Productions and Bhatt were represented by Ponda, who was briefed by a team from DSK Legal comprising Partners Chandrima Mitra and Parag Khandhar and Principal Associate Prachi Garg.

 

 

 

Zaidi and Borges were represented by advocates Ameet Naik and Madhu Gadodia from Naik Naik & Company.

 

Source : Bar And Bench

 

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