High Court vacates stay on ‘Asaram Bapu’ film | india | Hindustan Times
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High Court vacates stay on ‘Asaram Bapu’ film

Swaha, that exposes blind faith in ‘babas’ (spiritual gurus), will release this week. And Producer Pravin Bharadwaj is a relieved man. The Bombay High Court has vacated the stay on his movie’s release, which Sant Shri Asaram Ji Mahila Utthan Ashram Trust had obtained from the Lower Court, in Dindoshi

india Updated: Jun 13, 2010 13:19 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Swaha, that exposes blind faith in ‘babas’ (spiritual gurus), will release this week. And Producer Pravin Bharadwaj is a relieved man.

The Bombay High Court has vacated the stay on his movie’s release, which Sant Shri Asaram Ji Mahila Utthan Ashram Trust had obtained from the Lower Court, in Dindoshi in March. The film has a character called Asanand Bapu who is supposedly modelled on Aasaram Bapu. His ‘ashram’ is also said to be inspired by the spiritual guru’s ashram in Ahmedabad.

On March 11, the Asaram Mahila Utthaan filed a case in the Dindoshi court, seeking a stay on the release of the film scheduled to open on March 12 on the grounds that the character of Aasanand potrayed Aasaram Bapu in a negative light that was offensive to the saint, ashram workers and his innumerable devotees.

Respite, at last
The court ruled in Bharadwaj’s favour and dismissed the motion on May 7. But the Trust got an extension on the stay so they could file an appeal in the higher court. Honourable Judge, Shri R C Chavan of Bombay High Court finally ruled in his favour of the fim and vacated the stay on June 11.

However, Bharadwaj has been directed to carry a disclaimer at the beginning of the film stating that Swaha “has absolutely no resemblance to the life of Asaram Bapu, is not based on his life and is purely based on a fictitious character”.

Bharadwaj is now planning to rush his film through today and tomorrow in the smaller centers and open on June 18 in major territories like Mumbai and Delhi. “I had dispatched prints before March 11 and they have been lying with the theatre owners ever since. Now, I’ve sent them the copies of the High Court order with a request to screen the film with the prescribed disclaimer. I’ll ensure that by Monday my film is playing in as many places as possible,” says Bharadwaj.

He’s not planning on following up the FIR filed with the Amboli police station in Andheri on March 12 following an attack on his car.

“For me the High Court order has brought the story to an end and now I’d rather concentrate on releasing my film now. Already, I’ve suffered considerable loss since the release was stalled for three months,” he points out.
He says that there was never any intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments. He admits that will probably play safe with his next film and go with a love story. “But why jump the gun,” he says. “Let me see how Swaha fares first.”