Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Delhi HC suggests Centre, to sort out issues over ‘Gunjan Saxena’ movie

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday suggested the counsel appearing for the Centre and the filmmakers to sit together and sort out the issues related to the content shown in the Bollywood movie Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, senior advocate Harish Salve and others to sit together and sort out the issues by exchanging the views.

The High Court also refused to pass any interim order on the Centre’s plea seeking to restrain the release of the movie in theatres and said that those who wanted to watch the movie, might already have seen it on the over-the-top (OTT) platform.

The bench said that who will go and watch a movie in the theatre at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and those who wanted to see the movie might have already watched it as it is already available on the OTT platform.

After hearing the counsel of both sides, the court adjourned the matter till January 18, 2021.

During the hearing, Salve appearing for Dharma Productions urged the court to watch the movie while senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Karan Johar, shared the disclaimer with the court and submitted the movie is inspired by the events based on the life of Gunjan Saxena.

However, Jain said that disclaimer was an eyewash and the film has distorted the image of the Air Force in the name of creative freedom.

The court also noted that the film was not a biopic pointing out that filmmakers would not have shown former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena as the first female officer of the Air Force.

Earlier, the High Court had refused to grant an interim order of injunction against the movie “Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl” and asked Dharma Productions Private Limited, Karan Yash Johar, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Netflix and others to file reply on Centre and Indian Air Force’s plea against the movie.

The Central government, in a plea filed through standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, had sought to restrain from broadcasting, telecasting, releasing in theatres or any other digital, OTT platform of the movie. It said that the matter concerns the dignity and reputation of the IAF, which has been maligned and added that IAF has been portrayed in a very poor light.

It sought to remove or withdraw the film ‘Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl’ or parts or scenes thereof from all OTT platforms including those of Netflix, without the grant of no-objection certificate from the plaintiff.

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