The producers of Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla-starrer Gulaab Gang on Monday opposed the plea that the ongoing screening of the movie has amounted to "continuous defamation" of activist Sampat Pal. They told the Delhi high court that the film has bombed at the box office.
"They (producers) say the film has bombed. It means that people are not going to see your (activist) life in theatres. We cannot stay its screening," a bench comprising acting chief justice B D Ahmed and justice Siddharth Mridul said.
During brief hearing, senior lawyer Rajiv Nayar, appearing for producers including Sahara One Media and Entertainment Ltd, said the film has bombed at the box office because of "uncertainty" over its release.
The court had last Friday lifted the stay granted on release of the film by a single judge bench on the ground that the movie depicted Uttar Pradesh-based activist Sampat Pal and her Gulabi Gang in a poor light.
The counsel for Pal today also made a fresh plea for stay on the screening of movie saying, "I have seen the film. It has instances of my life and I go to jail in the end for the offence of attempt to murder. This is continuous defamation. Please take it from me, I am not here for money. I am not going to settle it for money. I have fought for women's cause through legal means. I am being defamed," he said.
"You can always seek damages," the bench said and rejected the plea for a stay on the screening of the film.
The film, which was scheduled for a nationwide release on February 7, had faced trouble after a single judge bench on February 5 stayed its release, taking note of Pal's defamation law suit. However, the larger bench later lifted the stay saying the film can only be shown after giving a clear disclaimer that it has nothing to do with the life of Sampat Pal and her organisation Gulabi Gang.
Pal, who runs Gulabi Gang comprising women vigilantes wearing pink sarees, had said she and her members help harassed women and girls by resorting to peaceful means and the prommos show that the lead actor, playing her character, was shown as an anti-social element, wielding swords and sickles, contrary to her real life persona.