The match-fixing controversy has come to haunt former Indian cricket team captain Mohammed Azharuddin in the form of a movie, which reportedly has parallels with his life.
The former cricketer has issued a legal notice to the film producer and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), asking that the latter make the filmmaker issue a disclaimer before the film begins.
As per the notice, Azharuddin wants the filmmakers to run a statement on screen stating that the film is purely a work of fiction stating that “all characters and incidents are fictional and not based on real, natural or living characters or a real-life incident”.
Azhar had sent the notice after the censor board saw the film in August 2007 without the disclaimer.
Scheduled for release next week, Shoonya is based on the match-fixing scandal that rocked the cricket world in 2000. Produced by Indigo Films, it is directed by Arindam Mitra, with a script by Anurag Kashyap.
In 2000, Azhar was dragged into the match-fixing scandal after late South African cricketer Hansie Cronje mentioned his name.
The scandal forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take action against those named.
Azharuddin’s legal notice has been sent to CBFC, Mitra and Kashyap.
The CBFC had replied that the film producer had stated that they would be putting a disclaimer before the movie.
Azhar’s notice stated that the film without a disclaimer would be seen as an attempt to “slur the image of our client and thereby damage him in name, reputation and goodwill”.
The CBFC examines films in the light of the Cinematograph Act of 1952. As such, only such visuals or dialogue that are in contravention of the same are suggested for deletion by the examining committee.
The legal consultants for Indigo Films replied that they had agreed to insert the disclaimer before the film.